Politics Newsletter: LFC Budget report

The Dec. 4 politics newsletter includes Legislative Finance Committe revenue tracking report, countdown to the legislative session and Meanwhile on the Hill.

Politics Newsletter: LFC Budget report

Hello fellow political junkies!

Leading up to the legislative session—which starts in January—various reports have been released focused on the state budget, including one from the Legislative Finance Committee that looks at Fiscal Year 2024 (which started in July) through August.

The Legislative Finance Committee released its revenue tracking report on Nov. 29 which showed that general fund recurring revenues were down 5.1 percent from the same period in 2022. 

Between July 1 and Aug. 31, the general fund recurring revenues were $2.179 billion which was down by $116.5 million from the same period in 2022.

The recurring revenue collections were $1.186 billion, which is up by $32 million from August 2022.

On taxes, personal income tax collections were down by $15.6 million from the same time in 2022. Gross receipts tax collections were up by $17.8 million while oil-related collections were down $100.8 million over the same period last year due to lower energy prices, the report states.

“Early FY 24 revenues flashed signs of moderation after two record-breaking fiscal years. In FY22 and FY23, persistently high inflation and a tight labor market pushed incomes and consumption to record levels,” the report states. “Now, inflation has lowered and consumer spending–while still high–has moderated. Similarly, oil and gas production shot to unprecedented levels in FY22 and FY23. Those levels have been maintained in FY24 to date, but underlying growth has been slower and weaker demand has dampened price strength.”

The economic slowdown has helped to moderate state revenues, the report states.

This report comes prior to the December general fund revenue projections which will be used throughout the 2024 legislative session to determine the state budget and appropriations.

That report is expected to be released and discussed at the Legislative Finance Committee on Dec. 11.

Meanwhile on the Hill

The House of Representatives expelled embattled Representative George Santos, R-New York, on Dec. 1 on a 311-114 vote with two representatives voting “present.”

Two-thirds majority vote was needed to remove Santos from office.

The House now has 434 members following Santos’ expulsion.

The last time someone was expelled from the House of Representatives was in 2002 when Jim Traficant, D-Ohio, was expelled after being convicted of taking bribes.

The vote came after debates on Nov. 30 and after a report from the House Ethics Committee showed the Committee voted to approve the Report of the Investigative Subcommittee that was ordered following Santos’ alleged fabrications and campaign finance violations.

The Committee also referred evidence to the Department of Justice that Santos “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct in connection with RedStone Strategies LLC; and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act as it relates to his Financial Disclosure (FD) Statements filed with the House,” the report states.

Santos called the resolution “theater” and “bullying.”

“It’s just an unfortunate circumstance that I have to sit here and watch… Congress waste the American people’s time, over and over again, on something that is the power of the people, not the power of Congress, which is to… remove members of Congress,” Santos said in a press conference Wednesday. “Obviously, some want to claim to some circumstances and to allegations, but there’s been a long standing precedent in the house that every single member that’s ever been expelled and they are trying to join me to the group of three Confederates and two people convicted in a court of law.”

In May, Santos was indicted on 13 counts in federal court including wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to the House of Representatives.

This week’s Interim Legislative meetings

Upcoming interim legislative meetings

For more information about interim legislative committees visit nmlegis.gov.

There are 42 days until the New Mexico Legislature Opening Day.

Other local and county meeting schedules

2024 New Mexico Primary Elections

The 2024 election cycle has been underway for months with debates, ads and campaign events across the state and country.

The New Mexico Primary is set for June 4. Candidate filing day is in February.

The 2024 General Election day is Nov. 5.

For more information about elections contact your local county clerk’s office which can also help you check on or update your voter registration, a process that can also be done online at NMVote.org.

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