“Bipartisanship” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
That’s the lesson of New Mexico’s 2018 legislative session. Lauded by many as a shining manifestation of compromise and common ground — the Albuquerque Journal gushed that “our citizen Legislature can set aside political differences and come together to do what’s best for constituents” — the 30 days of lawmaking saw the passage of a plethora of bills that target liberty, opportunity, and prosperity in the Land of Enchantment.
The Foundation is making its final, minor adjustments to our annual Freedom Index, but at this point, it’s safe to conclude that 2018 has been the worst year since we began tracking state lawmakers’ votes on economic freedom and limited government.
It’s looking like the highest scorer on the Freedom Index will not even reach 60 percent on the vote index. (Past Freedom Index stars have soared into the 80s and even 90s.) Spending bills, a hike in the pet-food tax, spaceport treats — Republicans and Democrats united behind a disturbingly large amount of undesirable legislation.
It’s an election year, so it’s certain that lawmakers were eager to make feel-good votes. But that’s no reason to hike taxes and expenditures, double down on failed corporate-welfare schemes, and reward “public servants” who are already compensated more than adequately.
We’ll have the final results next week. But at this point, “what’s best for constituents” does not appear to have been a priority for many of Santa Fe’s solons in 2018.