Sunday, September 4, 2016

Our View: Yes, this is a budget crisis - Editorial: The New Mexican

A savings account at zero — whether for a family, a business or a government — counts as a crisis. Think big, both in fixing the tax code, trimming state government bureaucracy, controlling the costs of higher education or seeking new sources of revenues. Much spending, remember, could be out of the state’s control. Just as the judge wants a special master to run federal programs, a lawsuit over public school spending — which argues, correctly, that state funding is inadequate — could be settled soon. It might force the state to set aside more dollars for education, creating budget priorities that lawmakers or the governor won’t be able to disregard. Look to New Mexico State University for inspiration — that university recently trimmed its budget with thoughtful discussions and the setting of priorities. The state needs a similar process on a broader stage. None of this is simple or easy. But the budget crisis is real, not routine. No, this does not happen every year. But it will, unless lawmakers and the governor give this crisis the attention it deserves.

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