Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Deming) and Senator Stuart Ingle (R-Portales)
Air Dates: February 23-25, 2013
In another exciting bipartisan episode of REPORT FROM SANTA FE, Lorene talks with Senator Stuart Ingle, Republican from Portales, and Senator John Arthur Smith, Democrat from Deming.
Senator Smith has been a lawmaker for 25 years and serves as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and, in the interim, serves as the Chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee. Senator Stuart Ingle is the Minority Floor Leader of the New Mexico Senate, and has been a lawmaker for 28 years.
These knowledgeable legislators discuss water and the drought in New Mexico, and explore the ins-and-outs of the pressing financial issues facing our state. Smith and Ingle explain the status of our retirement funds, the problem of the reconciliation of the state's books, and the importance of addressing some tax loopholes like the high wage tax credit. Together, they have introduced one of the drivers' license compromise bills.
The national sequestration crisis is a big threat to New Mexico's finances and Ingle and Smith describe the profound effect it will have on our budget if the problem is not solved on the national level before the March 1st deadline. Senator Smith states, “It is a very serious issue that we have never had to encounter since I have been in the legislature, at least one of this magnitude.”
“One thing that we have got to always remember, we are supposed to represent the people that send us here and we are supposed to work together on issues because that is who we represent. We are not supposed to represent parties all the time up here and nobody has the right answer to everything up here, all the time. You better talk to each other, because there are a lot of smart people on the other side of the aisle, and there are a lot of smart people on my side of the aisle.” -- Senator Stuart Ingle (R-Portales)
“We have to have a balanced budget. If the federal government made mistakes they just printed more money to handle it – we don’t have the flexibility of doing that.”-- Senator John Arthur Smith (D-Deming)