Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Dear Albuquerque Journal: Uh...No I Won't

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--ABQjournal.com 4.6.09

So long, Journal. It wasn't always good knowing ya, but I will be a bit sad when you finally go, completely, away. Which I'm guessing might be sooner than later, deep, ├╝ber-strange pockets or no.


Anonymous said...

Don't worry, you didn't miss anything! ;)

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Employees Will Take Home Less

By Barry Massey
Associated Press
SANTA FE — Take-home pay of state workers and educators will drop starting in July under a bill signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson on Tuesday to reduce government spending next year and help balance the budget.
The new law will save the state $40 million during each of the next two years by reducing what government pays into public pension funds.
Employees — from teachers and judges to state agency workers — will make up that amount for pension programs by contributing an extra 1.5 percent of their salaries.
For teachers earning an average salary of $47,000, the higher pension payments will mean a $27 reduction in biweekly pay — roughly $700 a year.
Richardson signed the pension measure along with a nearly $5.5 billion budget bill and legislation to allocate almost $140 million for more than 70 capital improvement projects across the state.
Richardson and state legislative leaders said the shift in pension contributions — an extra $80 million by workers over the next two years and a corresponding reduction by government — will help avert possible furloughs as the state struggles with budget problems.
There are about 87,000 educators and state workers, but the Legislative Finance Committee estimates about 14,000 will not be required to pay the higher pension contributions. Workers with a yearly base salary of $20,000 or less will be exempt along with employees earning $9.579 or less an hour.
The budget allocates almost $5.5 billion in state money next year to pay for public schools, colleges and universities as well as general government operations and services ranging from prisons and courts to Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor and uninsured children.
The next budget year starts in July.
Not counted in the state money total is about $330 million in federal aid from an economic stimulus package, which New Mexico is using to replace state tax dollars for public schools and health care next year.
The budget will keep total spending relatively flat next year when the federal stimulus money is factored in for schools and Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor and uninsured children.
The spending for next year is about $540 million lower — roughly 9 percent — than the initial budget enacted for the current fiscal year.
The governor used his line-item veto powers to trim less than $1 million in spending from the budget bill.
Among the vetoes was $100,000 to furnish the Mora County courthouse, $60,000 to buy an ambulance in Mora County, and $175,000 to upgrade the trades area of Luna Community College.

jscotkey said...

Anon II: Of course you notice that the copy/pasted piece is actually an AP story and not directly an ABQ Journal one. This is especially cool, as by copy/pasting an entire AP story into "the Internet" AP is supposedly going to sue me, Anon II and everyone who has ever had contact with this blog and/or the Internets.

Thanks for the post. And feel free to let me know of anything else I might be missing from my ABQJournal.com-free diet.

Interestingly, the drop in pay mentioned in the AP story is almost EXACTLY the amount of my Union dues. Hmmm....decisions, decisions....