The Associated Press
Updated: September 30, 2020 05:15 PM
Created: September 30, 2020 09:58 AM
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico state government income defied expectations amid the pandemic by increasing slightly during the fiscal year that ended June 30, but state economists warned Wednesday of a highly unpredictable future for state finances.
In an unusual pronouncement, four state economists said Wednesday they could not pinpoint how much income the state is likely to receive during the current and coming fiscal years to sustain public education, health care, public safety and other crucial services.
State government income may range from $6.8 billion to $7.6 billion during the coming fiscal year — on current annual spending obligations of $7.2 billion.
The twice-annual revenue forecast ordinarily provides a benchmark for state lawmakers as they outline a budget before meeting in January. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has asked most agencies to trim spending proposals by 5% for the coming fiscal year.
“No one knows whether the pandemic will result in only a temporary drop in economic activity, or whether it will be a prolonged event that causes irreparable harm to the economy, taking years to recover,” economic advisers from the Legislature’s budget and accountability office said in a written briefing.
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