By Brian Moore: Guest Columnist
We’re about to start a new legislative session this week, and it should be an interesting one. We’re starting a 30-day session, which is supposed to be only for the budget, plus a few items the governor thinks important enough to deal with in this short period of time.
You’ve heard the talk about how much money the state has to spend, and you’ve undoubtedly heard lots of ideas about how that money should be spent. I think the trick for the Legislature this year is to put together a conservative budget that balances what we need to run state government, educate our kids and pay for investments in those things that make our communities stronger, our roads better and state government more efficient and less expensive down the road.
What will certainly happen is that we will see several billion dollars of ideas, new programs and new ways to waste your money. In this next 30 days, I hope we can sort through all of the fluff, spend your money wisely, save some for the next few years and put more of it back in your pocket.
I think we need to spend a lot of money on water programs, from enhancing water production to regional water systems. We know how far behind we are — let’s use this money now to start catching up.
I think we need to spend money helping our communities strengthen, and diversify their economies. I hope we can support Main Street projects and other incentives to grow businesses in rural New Mexico. We need to fix our roads and bridges, so people and businesses can travel safely and more efficiently. I hope we can find new ways to encourage doctors and nurses to stay in our part of the state.
And, of course, we need to help our school districts provide the best education we can, so our children can be ready for all the new jobs we hope to create.
All these things can keep rural New Mexico a great place to live and raise our families.
There are a lot of other ideas and issues that will be brought up over the next few weeks and we’ll be putting in some late nights trying to keep it all straight. I hope you will watch and hear what’s going on and let us know what you think.
We have a good legislative delegation that works together, but we need your help. Please contact me anytime.
Rep. Brian Moore’s districts include parts of Curry, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, San Miguel and Union counties. Contact him at 986-4467 or through his Web site at: www.moorefornewmexico.com His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org