Prior to the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the Rio Grande Foundation had a busy 30-day legislative session. The Foundation worked alongside Reason Foundation’s Len Gilroy for much-needed, bipartisan, public employee pension reforms that were signed into law this year.
The Foundation spoke out strongly against overspending during the session which concluded near the end of February (fueled by an oil boom in the Permian Basin, the state budget grew 21 percent in just two years). RGF was quickly revealed as visionary when oil prices plummeted with the onset of the coronavirus, which further reduced travel and thus demand. Analysts now say that New Mexico faces a $2 billion deficit in a $7.6 billion budget.
Since the coronavirus crisis began, the Rio Grande Foundation has made numerous recommendations for policymakers to address the outbreak and reduce the harm done to New Mexicans. The Foundation also successfully convinced Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Bernalillo County to remove bans on plastic bags for the duration of the crisis. The New York Times cited the Foundation on the issue.
Finally, the Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Albuquerque for its blatant violation of New Mexico’s Open Meetings Act when the City Council gave numerous new powers to the Mayor without holding a public meeting.