Across New Mexico, families work every day to stay within their budgets and spend their money on what’s important. State government should be no different. Gov. Susana Martinez’s recent budget proposal does exactly the same thing for state government without passing along the bill to those same families.
For two consecutive quarters New Mexico has been recognized by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis as one of the fastest-growing economies in the country. It is essential to stay focused on doing all we can to make New Mexico an even better place. By enacting the governor’s budget proposal, we will be able to create more private-sector jobs, keep strengthening our schools and continue the fight against crime in our communities.
The governor’s proposal – totaling just over $6.32 billion – boosts our state’s cash reserves, which were used to help weather last year’s oil and gas crash. At the time, many legislators called for higher taxes on New Mexicans to balance the budget. Gov. Martinez resisted taking the easy way out, and instead focused on protecting key priorities like classroom spending and public safety. Now, thanks to her commitment to fiscal responsibility and reforming how we do business in New Mexico, our state’s economy is in the top 10 for gross domestic product growth in the U.S. and we are competing for jobs and investment like never before.
Not only has New Mexico’s energy sector begun to recover from the historic downturn in global oil and gas prices, but our economy as a whole is also diversifying. While New Mexico has historically been heavily reliant on the oil and gas industry, as our most recent rebound shows, industries like health care, tourism, construction and others have become stronger – and the momentum doesn’t end there.
Thanks to Gov. Martinez’s leadership in reforming education and investing in our students, teachers and schools, more New Mexicans than ever before are graduating from high school, and more of them are college and career ready. Not only are we growing and diversifying our economy, but our investments are also helping more children and families have a chance to succeed – in school, in the workforce and in life.
Since taking office in 2011, Gov. Martinez has never wavered from spending taxpayer dollars wisely and investing in our schools, the economy and keeping New Mexicans safe. This year’s budget proposal is no exception.