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Representatives Lucky Varela (D) and Larry Larranaga (R) Image

Representatives Lucky Varela (D) and Larry Larranaga (R)

Air Dates:
February 13-15, 2016
This week's guests on REPORT FROM SANTA FE are Representatives Lucky Varela (D-District 48) and Larry Larranaga (R-District 27), discussing New Mexico's budget crisis caused by the drop in oil prices and other issues concerning our state finances. These two lawmakers are known for their financial acumen, and together have served in the Legislature for 50 years.

This program is the last of our popular “Larry and Lucky” shows, a 10-year series of financial analyses of legislative budget and finance interviews with the two leading budget experts of the House. This is the final time, as Representative Lucky “Luciano” Varela is going to be retiring after 29 years in the legislature. We will miss his knowledge, expertise, and public service.

This interview offers an in-depth evaluation of New Mexico's financial situation in regards to the state budget and the funding of state government in the upcoming fiscal year. The lawmakers describe the process of “sweeps,” in which they sweep unused monies from existing programs and funds in order to balance the state budget. They were able to combine modest cuts in programs with enhancements from various funds, to provide an acceptable budget without too much pain in these difficult economic times.

· “If you are going to keep milking the cow, you have to feed it at some point.”
-- Rep. Varela on the importance of balancing disbursements & enhancements in the state budget

· “We always survive in New Mexico...We have never been a very wealthy state, but that is New Mexico. We live very well with the salaries that we have and I am optimistic that we will turn this around and there will be better days ahead.” -- Rep Larranaga

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Lorene Mills Hosted by veteran journalist and interviewer, Lorene Mills, Report from Santa Fe brings the very best of the esteemed, beloved, controversial, famous and emergent minds and voices of the day to a weekly audience that spans the state of New Mexico. During nearly 40 years on the air, Lorene Mills and Report from Santa Fe have given viewers a unique opportunity to become part of a series of remarkable conversations – always thoughtful and engaging, often surprising – held in a warm and civil atmosphere. Gifted with a quiet intelligence and genuine grace, Lorene Mills draws guests as diverse as Valerie Plame, Alan Arkin, and Stewart Udall into easy and open exchange, with plenty of room and welcome for wit, authenticity, and candor.