State leaders warned about spending New Mexico's surplus | KOB 4
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State leaders warned about spending New Mexico's surplus

Ryan Laughlin
November 15, 2018 06:11 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - An economic expert is warning state leaders to not overspend, despite what could be a historic surplus.

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Paul Gessing, president of the Rio Grande Foundation, a free market think tank, said the surplus might not be as a big as some are forecasting.

"It's fragile, especially given oil prices and its volatility,” Gessing said.

He said a third of New Mexico’s economy comes from oil and natural gas. In October, the price of oil dropped significantly.

Previous estimates had the surplus as high as $2 billion. However, Gessing said the new state leaders shouldn’t count on that revenue every year.

"We should always be careful about overly increasing spending, overly committing ourselves to projects and government programs that we're going to have to keep on spending in the future,” Gessing said.

KOB 4 reached out to Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham to find out her plans for the surplus. Her transition director released the following statement.

“Governor-elect Lujan Grisham will work with her team to prepare a budget to present to the Legislature that makes real investments to diversify and strengthen New Mexico’s economy. The oil and gas industry is critical to our state and the governor-elect believes we can responsibly spend to improve our infrastructure- roads, bridges, water systems, rural broadband- to address real needs and jump start our economy.”

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Ryan Laughlin

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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