Bullying underway – and it’s not on the playground

Recently the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) had a $900 million mill levy and bond package defeated.  Voters were clear they love our kids and respect our teachers. They do not, however, feel APS has been a good steward of their tax money. 

We hoped that APS understood that message, but we don’t see evidence they do. 

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What the Frack?

New Mexico is a state currently dependent on oil and gas production. YES, we are dependent on this industry that provides a minimum of one-third of our state’s budget.  Imagine life without that industry . . . where would we find the money for education and so many other things? 

Fact is, right now, we would be in a world of hurt. If you have doubts, look at this report that the oil and gas industry just released.

With some elected officials who identify as ‘progressive’ attacking that industry at every turn, it begs the question, “What are they thinking?”   While well intentioned to protect our environment and bring in more money for schools, these views translate into big problems for our state that seem to be counterproductive to their desired results.  Want to see how?

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Roundhouse Roundup

The 2019 Legislative Session has been packed with action so far. Here’s a collection of thoughts, information and updates on various topics:

  • The Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF): Protection of the LGPF continues to be an NMBC priority and we are grateful to Senators who understand its importance. While many in the House want to make it their bank, we think the Senate will continue to be the adults on that subject and maintain its integrity. Read our latest here and an Albuquerque Journal article here.
  • Bill estimates two months ago vs reality: Several people in both Chambers thought that 5,000 to 8,000 bills could be the magic number this year for introduction. There is enough gusto by some legislators to make that happen, but that has to be coupled with the reality of how many bills the writers (Legislative Council Services) can pump out.
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Minimum Wage

A study by Washington University on minimum wage was very enlightening.  From an employer’s perspective, each $1/hour increase in minimum wage costs the employer approximately $2,600/year per employee.  So if New Mexico’s statewide minimum wage increases from $7.50 to $10, it will cost employers $6,500/year per employee in those brackets.   

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Raiding the Permanent Fund – Keep your hands out of the cookie jar

There have been lots of attempts to raid the State Land Grant Permanent Fund and that’s nothing new.  You can read more about this ongoing issue here and here.

Here are a few important points to consider:
1) The fund was established with New Mexico’s statehood to provide for education and a few other beneficiaries, like some hospitals, in perpetuity. That means FOREVER!   It doesn’t mean this should be everyone’s personal bank account for their every whim. Look at this creative way they’d like to raid the fund here
2) We have increased education spending over $900 million in the past 12 years and our results are still dismal. Is more money the answer? Absolutely not.
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