Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Planning for the State Budget

With the legislative session looking to be one of limited resources the need for planning is becoming a major issue that must be faced. The session will come in January so the planning should be now for what will be a thirty day session.

The first item is to look at the current budget and see where you can trim waste without harming programs. The second one is to admit that since the state government has grown so much during the good times it may be time to cut back on highly paid administration.

No one wants to see education harmed in this state except for the republicans so now is the time to look hard at how any cuts should be applied to prevent harm to the students. Cuts in this area must be made from top administration where the higher incomes are and not from front line workers where it would have a direct effect on student achievement.

Old programs which are outdated must be reviewed to see how they can be improved. Technology should be used to reduce paperwork and improve efficiency. Travel and meetings should be restricted to activities which directly affect student achievement and success.

New ways of raising revenues should be considered and legislators should reach out to small business leaders and entrepreneurs to find new industries which could provide a steady stream of reliable revenues for the future of this state and its residents. Taxes should be looked at closely to close any loopholes which could cost the state needed revenues. Locally owned businesses should receive priority over nationally owned ones because income stays in the state and is subject to state taxes.

Small job development programs that show results should be encouraged along with technical training programs for future green jobs. Partnerships between small start up businesses and schools should be encouraged to assist each in developing the skills needed. Film and acting career training should be encouraged to provide an educated workforce for industries that bring jobs to the state. Research should be done to find out which job markets are emerging that could produce future high paying jobs and local colleges and universities should be encouraged to develop programs in those fields.

Another way the state government can help small businesses to success is to provide a statewide website that could list each one and link to a business website. This would promote these businesses to locals and to visitors to our state. Assistance should be given to help small business leaders bring their businesses onto the worldwide web. Just think if there was one website where people could go to in order to find information about product produced in the state of New Mexico and contact information for those businesses. The state website should have a tab that reads shop New Mexico.