Oops! New Mexico just discovered a surplus of $4.5 billion. Don't you just hate it when that happens?
New Mexico state State Auditor Tim Keller recently released a 25-page report analyzing the contents of the surprise funds; as it turns out, the Goliath-sized balance was mostly set aside for state projects (including water and road work) although Medicaid and a job-training program were also allocated a piece of the dough.
It's reported that the unspent money was simply "tied up" with more than 737 state agencies. But don't fret! Salaries, operating costs, and retirement funds were not lost in the budgeting shuffle.
So what's going to happen with this formidable forest of greenbacks? As $4.5 billion is roughly 70% of New Mexico's budget, the potential to foster new programs and bolster previous ones is undeniable, although half of the unused funds are strictly allocated for certain expenditures. Keller explains he wants to use the money "to fill positions in state government and put more New Mexicans back to work."
Money doesn't grow on trees; it grows in New Mexico. Who knew?