Welcome to 2022! While the number on the calendar may have changed, for New Mexico economically and policy-wise, we don’t foresee much positive on the horizon in terms of public policies from the current Gov. or Legislature, but we DO have questions that we believe will dominate public policy in New Mexico during 2022. Here they are:
- More of the same on MLG’s COVID policies?: Gov. Lujan Grisham has consistently been among the very most restrictive governors when it comes to COVID. And, while (so far) the Omicron variant hasn’t “blown up” in New Mexico (yet) it is likely on the way. Will Omicron or the impending election impact MLG’s COVID policies or will New Mexicans remain masked with further vaccine mandates through 2022?
- Will the Gov. and Legislature really increase gasoline prices in the 2022 session? MLG has proposed “Clean Fuel Standard” legislation for the upcoming session which would increase gas prices by an estimated 35 cents per gallon. With gas prices above $3.00 a gallon throughout New Mexico and heading into an election year, this seems like a politically-problematic idea to say the least.
- Albuquerque’s violent crime and homeless problems spiraled out of control under Mayor Tim Keller and the “progressive”-controlled City Council in 2021. Will Mayor Keller act on these issues or will a more centrist City Council be able to address the issues?
- Will oil and gas keep New Mexico “in the black” and will the money do any good? Yes, this is essentially two questions, but with the State experiencing unprecedented levels of oil and gas money flowing into the State budget, this is an “evergreen” question. The Legislature is expected to pass MLG’s small GRT reduction, but may modify the proposal. Will that reduction or any of the other spending alleviate any of New Mexico’s numerous problems?
- Will the GOP be able to unseat MLG and make gains in the Legislature or is New Mexico destined to be an impoverished version of California? MLG has been the most radical and incompetent governor in decades. And while not on the ballot himself, President Biden hasn’t covered himself in glory either. The GOP has a solid field of contenders for Gov. Can one of them break through? If not, it is hard to see a better opportunity to FINALLY (after 90 years) begin the long process of reforming New Mexico.
As usual, RGF will be working hard on behalf of greater freedom in 2022, but November’s elections will ultimately determine whether 2022 is a good year for freedom.