2. SUPPORT THE PENSION REFORM BILL WHICH WILL FIX OUR SYSTEM
AND SAVE TAXPAYERS BIG BUCKS
The House Appropriations and Finance Committee is scheduled to take up SB72, the pension reform legislation.
We want to alert you about a correction regarding SB 72, the pension reform bill. A misinterpretation of the bill had made it seem we are against it. We are not. We wholeheartedly support this legislation which will make our pension system solvent into the future. This bill will ensure that pension obligations are met. Over 25 years, this bill will move PERA from 69% funded today to an estimated 97%. The state’s market-based fiscally sound investments will ensure that pensions are paid because cost of living adjustments are well above the rate of inflation. The bill will also protect the poorest, disabled and oldest retirees and will mean New Mexico taxpayers will not have to foot the bill for the current $6 billion unfunded liability.
3. BUDGET BLUES SUGGEST STATE COULD BE IN THE RED
It appears the progressive Democrats’ spending spree has taken its toll. According to the latest Legislative Finance Committee report on the House-approved version of the state budget, the spending plan has appropriated more than $8.1 billion and projects $7.9 billion in revenues.
The financial summary makes clear that the state’s operating reserve will be $94 million in the red, creating a potential constitutional crisis and leaving the state in a dangerous budget position given New Mexico’s undiversified economy.
“It feels like we are repeating ourselves by drawing attention to the budget issues. It is easy to dole out cash as a lawmaker in good years, but it is excruciating to cut funds once the crisis arises,” said House Minority Leader Jim Townsend. “We owe it to every New Mexican to responsibly budget and spend wisely in the best interest of our state’s future.”
The current budget proposal would bring two-year spending increases to 20% in more spending since the previous administration. The mad dash to spend the surplus dollars has lawmakers dipping into reserve funds to the tune of $242 million to fund their commitments.
“I foresee an interesting debate between the Democrats who control state government– they all are grabbing for cash and despite oil and gas giving providing them an abundance of new money they still are over-spending,” said House Minority Whip Rod Montoya “I am terrified of what the Democrats will do once those dollars go away when they accomplish destroying the industry funding our state.”