Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Uh, oh. Some more fuzzy Santa Fe math from state House Republicans that is causing the big snafu for a special legislation session. Newly crowned state House Appropriations Committee Chairman Larry Larranaga is out with a statement asserting that a $5 million tax cut is just as important to the state's economy as the $264 million capital outlay bill that failed in the recent legislative session. That failure has prompted calls for a one day special session to get that bill passed and the money flowing into the slow moving economy.
How Larry thinks a measly $5 million is going to translate into $264 million of economy activity is probably best left to him and his high school algebra professor. But it isn't selling with his old pal and fellow fiscal conservative John Arthur Smith. The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is now saying the Rs insistence on the tax cut makes a special session "a long shot."
You gotta wonder how all the Republican owners of those construction companies that could use that capital outlay bill fell about being held hostage for a no-consequence tax cut. But you can't have too much sympathy for them. They and the entire biz community have been cowed by the Guv's political machine and basically drink whatever Kool-Aid they are told to. Not one of them is willing to stand up and disagree with Larranga's new math.
And how long will that oil bear market last that has cramped Santa Fe's style by reducing the gusher of royalty money flowing to state coffers? Maybe a lot longer than the bean counters at the Roundhouse want to think:
Oil prices will remain below the psychologically important $100-a-barrel mark until at least 2025, according to a draft report by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), seen by The Wall Street Journal. In its most optimistic scenario, OPEC, which represents 12 oil-producing countries, forecast that oil will sell for around $76 per barrel in 10 years' time, according to the report. However, it warned that crude oil could cost as little as $40 per barrel in 2025.
More disturbing news surfaces from APD is again raising questions about civilian oversight of the agency. A number of private citizens—-critics of the department—report to the ABQ Free Press that they believe they have been stalked by APD in an effort to intimidate them. Whether the allegations are credible is open to question but those who are claiming the intimidation are stating their names for the public record. Mayor Berry and/or Chief Administrative Officer Rob Perry could make a statement condemning such tactics—and assuring the public they won’t be tolerated—but no one who has followed the police crisis would expect them to. In APD, Berry and Perry have a tiger by the tail that is tossing them about like twigs in a tornado. And that also applies to overwhelmed APD Chief Gorden Eden.
Our city will pay millions in lawsuits and for reforms for allowing APD to go rogue. The only saving grace future generations may see in the debacle is that in the end the system of checks and balances worked. The city’s executive and legislative branches failed and the slack was picked up by the judiciary. At least that’s the hope.
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