Governor-elect Susana Martinez and our newly elected and re-elected legislators have one primary job ahead of them come January. Cut government spending that has ballooned to an unsustainable size during the Richardson Administration. One of the first places they need to look are at the unnecessary and redundant regulatory boards and commissions that are nothing more than a drain of taxpayer dollars.
Consider the fact that we already have elected representation at the legislative, judicial and executive levels. We don’t really need those folks to hand out political favors to campaign donors in the form of appointments to boards and commissions. Anyone who has ever served on a homeowner’s board can tell you why. Simply put, when things are running smoothly, these organizations begin looking for something to do. They look for “problems” to tackle where none really exist. Essentially, they look for purpose where there is none, and create rules for the sake of creating rules.
One great example of budget busting redundancy in New Mexico is the Environmental Improvement Board. I’ve noted in the past that this group has served as nothing more than a convenient vehicle for making an executive end-run around the legislature.
Now, in true lame duck fashion, this board has gone ahead and pushed through a measure that the Administration has failed time and time again to get enacted as law through true Democratic channels (i.e. the legislature). The push for cap and trade on a regional level has failed time and time again because it is just bad economic policy. It practically ensures that costs will increase for every New Mexican with a light switch, and ultimately places us at a competitive economic disadvantage with other state in the nation.
As the transition team advises our elect on whom to appoint to what position, I truly hope they also make some strong recommendations as to which of these boards and commissions should go the way of the dinosaurs. In prioritizing that to-be-cut list, I’d strongly recommend starting with any board that pushes through the failed agenda of the outgoing administration in its final hours.