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Thursday, July 10, 2014

A New Mexico Daydream: King For A Day; The Decrees That Would Come 

You mean we get to be King for a day? (No, not Gary King!) Who decreed that? Never mind. We humbly accept the honor---but just for a day. We have a blog to do you know. So now that we have been handed the sceptre what should we decree?

--We'll start by "raiding" the state's immense Land Grant Permanent Fund (over $14 billion) for $100 million a year for at least ten years for very early childhood education and finally begin reversing the generational quagmire that has kept the state at rock bottom. No more stalling. We so decree.

--Gradually cut the state's gross receipts tax to 4 percent and replace it by restoring a higher personal income tax rate for those in the top brackets. That's economic stimulation with high impact.

--Float government bonds at these historically low interest rates and build a world class, 21st century performance center to replace the dilapidated Tingly Coliseum at the state fairgrounds. Make it a facility that would attract events like the Final Four and the great world concert tours as well as support local arts and culture.

--It is ordered that Bernalillo County government sell off land and buildings it owns and use the proceeds to build a new county government building, instead of devastating downtown ABQ by pulling out 700 employees.

--It is immediately ordered that ABQ bring in a world class police chief to lead our police department out of the ignominy that has damaged it, the citizens and ABQ's reputation. Immediately. We so decree.

--We hereby direct that Kathy Korte be made president of the ABQ School board--because it would be fun.

--We decree that ground be broken for a new hospital for the homeless who are mentally ill and also that ABQ triple the number of beds available for drug and alcohol rehab. No more half-measures. Spend the money. Now. It is so decreed!

--Reopen the ABQ Tribune and restore media competition and balance in the coverage of the deep social and economic problems our state faces. Start the presses! The King has spoken!

--Henceforth, no New Mexico Governor shall be permitted to travel outside the state to campaign for  the presidency or vice presidency. They must stay here and stew in the anti-glamour with the rest of us. Effective immediately.

--A potpourri of rulings from the Crown: Build a dental school at UNM, build a veterinary school somewhere around here and raise the statewide minimum wage to $9 an hour.

--We decree that a second language be taught to all New Mexico students beginning in the first grade.

--Replace the heads of the ABQ Chamber of Commerce, the Economic Forum and NAIOP. We order the positions go to out-of-towners who will bring new thinking to ABQ's economic dilemma. Obey your King!

--All public employees who are paid more than $250,000 a year (you know who you are) shall have those positions no longer than 8 years. Stop the calcification at the top and let others climb the ladder.

--The New Mexico Legislature will henceforth conduct its legislative sessions in April--not January. It's just too damn cold in January.

--The following positions will from this day forward be appointed--not elected--positions. State Treasurer, State Auditor, Bernalillo County treasurer and Bernalillo County sheriff.

--It is ordered that ABQ restaurants serving New Mexican food must place on their menus roast beef burritos. Why are they only in Santa Fe? (Hey, the King is entitled!)

Okay. That's enough. This King thing wears you out quick. Back into our blogging pajamas. . . .

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