Activate the LIV!

Like her counterparts in more than 40 states, New Mexico’s chief executive has the line-item veto.

And she’s got plenty of reasons to use it.

The fiscal year 2019 budget approved by the legislature is stuffed with unwise, if not maddening, funding. But the category of “special appropriations” is a particularly target-rich environment for the LIV. Grabbing the top spot is $10,000,000 for “planning and construction of an aerospace satellite testing and development hangar” at “Spaceport America,” if the facility contracts “with a vendor specializing in advanced aerospace products and technologies.” (Wait — none of its current “customers” specializes in “advanced aerospace products and technologies”?)

Here are a few more on the worst-of-the-worst list:

* $5,000,000 for the troubled Job Training Incentive Program

* $300,000 “to provide sports training for New Mexicans with intellectual disabilities” to prepare for the Special Olympics (noble cause — but can’t the money be raised privately?)

* $273,000 to NMSU for “a sunspot solar observatory” (seriously?)

* $200,000 to UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research “to study uranium clean-up training programs on the Navajo Nation” (BBER’s ideological bias is blatant, and it should be completely defunded)

* $200,000 “to advertise New Mexico chile” (isn’t this the industry’s job?)

* $100,000 for the Economic Development Department’s solo-worker program (which wouldn’t be “needed,” if there were enough job opportunities within the state)

* $100,000 for an “education gap analysis and benchmarking study to be conducted by a national education research organization that studies education systems of high-performing countries contingent on receipt of one hundred thousand dollars … in matching funds from other than state sources” (another study — that’s the ticket!)

* $100,000 to the Renewable Energy Transmission Authority “for operating costs” (another quasi-government entity that can’t pay its day-to-day bills)

* $80,000 to the Department of Health for “dance and fitness programs in the schools” (an alternative: “Hey kids — go out and play!”)

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