Imagine you’re the Governor of a state with limited resources, but you have a banner year due to revenue from oil and gas production taxation. What do you do with you new found wealth:
- Increase spending, so that you can use every last cent.
- Consider tax increases on oil and gas producers, so you’ll have more money next year.
- Propose spending one percent of your capital outlay budget on a luxury item that will benefit only one New Mexican.
- All of the above.
Richardson last year sparked controversy after planning to [illegally (registration)] spend as much as $4 million to buy a new plane to replace a 1966 Aero Commander, which Richardson officials said was unsafe.
The state General Services Department sold the older plane last month to a California company.
James Jimenez, secretary of the state Department of Finance and Administration, said House Democrats on Monday had a “mixed” reaction to Richardson’s proposal to buy a new state airplane.
That’s right. Governor Richardson is proposing to spend $5 million of the proposed $511 million in capital outlay from his long overdue plan (subscription) to replace a $58,000 plane. This is like replacing your $500 1980’s Buick with a brand new $50,000 Hummer. Since the Governor wants to spend a cool million dollars more than the plane he wanted to buy less than a year ago, I guess he is going for some of those hot option packages.
Just another day of misguided priorities in the Land of Enchantment.