Lawmakers: New Mexico's 'lost decade' comes to an end | KOB 4
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Lawmakers: New Mexico's 'lost decade' comes to an end

Megan Abundis
April 01, 2019 06:38 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- In the past ten years, from 2008 until October 2018, job growth in New Mexico was stagnant and state finances were down.

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However, there has been a change.

Lawmakers said the "lost decade" is over.

“So about a decade of no job growth and no revenue growth for state government,” said David Abbey, director of the Legislative Finance Committee. “Which put the state under significant pressure with finances being down."

The state says it was tough keeping adequate reserves.

“It was a concern,” Abbey said. “In the last decade, the state just held things together with baling wire."

Abbey said New Mexico is moving forward with a much stronger revenue position, primarily, because of oil and gas production.

“We’ve been able to address the state's failing needs like public education and Medicaid.”

But Abbey said the state is not completely out of the woods.

“Pre-recession levels is not correct,” he said. “We are finally gaining in finance, the economy is growing slowly but we need to be mindful of two kinds of risks."

Abbey said the risks include another recession and the sustainability of oil and gas revenue.

He said the state shouldn't depend on the oil and gas revenue to always be there.

“It's good news for the state that we can gross state spending to address the needs that accumulated across the last decade,” Abbey told KOB. “But it's important to proceed cautiously knowing that so much of the revenue is dependent on the volatile oil and gas sector."

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Megan Abundis

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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