4.4 percent spending growth is too aggressive

Gov. Martinez initially threatened to veto the budget passed during the recently-completed legislative session. The issues involved her priorities of “merit pay” for high-performing teachers and the 1% pay raise for government workers.

We support Gov. Martinez on both the teacher pay and the overall government employee pay issues, but more importantly, we don’t see how New Mexico can sustainably increase its budget by 4.4 percent in a single year with anemic national economic growth and an even more anemic New Mexico economy. How do we expect to generate enough revenue to pay the bills?

In summary, it would behoove New Mexicans if Gov. Martinez vetoed the budget or at least went in with a scalpel to take out some line-items that would bring annual growth down to 3 percent or less which is at least close to the combined effects of inflation and population growth on a year-over-year basis. It seems that her success in getting some corporate income tax cuts may have tempered her enthusiasm about vetoing the entire budget, but 4.4 percent spending growth at a time when the US economy is expected to grow by only 2.4 percent seems hard to sustain.

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