Friday, March 06, 2015
Oklahoma spent $100 million improving its State Fair Park. Forsaking the shabby and ramshackle NM Expo and the antiquated Tingley Coliseum was a no-brainer.
NM Expo officials plead poverty, saying we could not compete with the Oklahoma improvements. Sure, you could--if you floated a statewide bond issue for a new Tingley (the arena dates to the 50's) and had the outspoken backing of the legislative leadership the Governor and Mayor. You would not only keep the annual horse show, but attract mega-concerts, major sporting events and trade shows that spark a economy. Not to mention the attendance upswing you would get at the state fair. A new 21st century Tingley would be a boon for the entire state.
The Legislature could have paused the state bond issues for some senior centers and other construction bonds for a couple of years and asked voters to instead approve a new Tingley while interest rates are at historic lows. It's still not too late, but you need aggressive leadership. Around here that's harder to find than an Arabian horse show.
BLAST DOESN'T IGNITE
Ingle could have kept everyone dangling and kept the threat of a blast alive until the end of the session. This way everyone has their say and the final weeks of the session don't have to be embroiled in a wedge issue of little consequence--one that was fully debated here over thirty years ago. Sorry, RTW groupies, the party is over for this year.
THE OIL BEAR
How long will these low oil and gas prices last? Well, if this industry bigwig has it right, NM legislators are going to have to wait a while before the oil royalties pick up again:
Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson expects the price of oil to remain low over the next two years because of ample global supplies and relatively weak economic growth. "People kinda need to settle in for a while," Tillerson said at the company's annual investor conference in New York.
The state's general fund budget is $6.2 billion for the next budget year starting July 1. About 20% of that comes from energy taxes and royalties. Santa Fe's budget assumes oil will average about $56 a barrel. It closed Thursday at $50.90.
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