Somebody please call the Legislature and remind them we’re in an economic crisis situation here with a half a billion dollar shortfall that is in all likelihood going to get worse. A cursory review of some of just two of the bills to be introduced so far this session indicates that they’re in denial.
Let’s start with the Feed Bill, the bill that funds the session. In 2007, the last 60-day session, the amount of the Feed Bill was $7,874,100. This year, a year in which government is supposed to be cutting back on unnecessary expenditures, the Feed Bill for the session is $8,326,734. That’s right, the first bill the legislator approves and the Governor signs is a bill that increases spending by nearly half a million dollars. Or, put another way, they convened and connived to increase spending by nearly six percent. What budget shortfall, right?
MAKING AN APPROPRIATION FOR THE BEN LUJAN LEADERSHIP AND PUBLIC POLICY INSTITUTE AT NEW MEXICO HIGHLANDS UNIVERSITY.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
Section 1. APPROPRIATION.–Five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the board of regents of New Mexico highlands university for expenditure in fiscal year 2010 for the Ben Lujan leadership and public policy institute to continue collaborative programs, to explore New Mexico policy issues and to develop a curriculum for use by New Mexico schools dealing with youth entrepreneurship. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2010 shall revert to the general fund.
Okay, let’s ignore the blatant attempt to get funding approved by creating a new policy institute in the name of the Speaker of the House – my stomach just turned. Instead, let’s focus on the fact that there is ABSOLUTELY NO NEED for taxpayers to pay $500,000 to have a curriculum developed for use by New Mexico schools to teach youth entrepreneurship.
I know this for a fact. See, there is this little thing called Junior Achievement that has been around that has been providing a proven curriculum to do just that since 1919. Heck, the legislature recognized their contribution to New Mexico for the last 15 years in 2007 (I’ll have to look it up) in a Senate Memorial. I know. I was there with JA of New Mexico President at the time to receive the memorial from Lt Governor Diane Denish – I’m a past-president of JA.