Gov. floats “tapping” permanent fund to avoid needed budget cuts

As we at the Rio Grande Foundation have noted repeatedly, the Gov. has been AWOL when it comes to discussing the very significant budget issues facing our State due both to the oil and gas downturn (which could be a problem for years to come) and the shutdown-driven budget crisis.

The Rio Grande Foundation has been working to cement legislative opposition to tax hikes with its legislator/candidate pledge not to raise taxes. 

In her first real discussion of the economy the Gov. discussed the idea of tapping into the permanent fund in an effort to avoid making any difficult decisions such as spending cuts or tax hikes. Because it requires votes of the Legislature AND a referendum, not to mention some Congressional action, the timing of tapping this money would be critical.

And, while he DOES face a primary, Sen. John Arthur Smith has been opposed to efforts to tap into the Permanent Fund in the past (for early childhood spending).

New Mexico has plenty of spending to cut, but New Mexico government didn’t get as bloated as it is through prudent fiscal management. If MLG were serious about addressing budget issues in a proactive manner she wouldn’t have waited nearly 2 months to get started. You can bet the debates over the Permanent Fund, spending cuts, and tax hikes are just getting started.