Legislators talk with business leaders

By Bob Quick: The Santa Fe New Mexican

With a budget deficit of more than half a billion dollars looming
over the state, there’s a need to “keep an eye on what’s happening” in
Santa Fe during this legislative session, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish told a
Tuesday morning gathering of business leaders from around New Mexico.

But as efforts to trim the state budget proceed, business people
shouldn’t forget the importance of maintaining funding for public
education, she said, especially early-childhood education.

“It’s one of the few items in the budget that’s being recommended for extension,” she said. “It really makes a difference.”

Denish spoke at Business Day 2009, which drew about 250 business
owners and politicians to the Santa Fe Community and Convention Center.
This was the 20th anniversary of Business Day, which is sponsored by
the Association of Commerce and Industry and other business groups.

Denish received a standing ovation for her comments, which included
a humorous reference to the transitions she has been making recently —
the first when it appeared she would fill out the remainder of Gov.
Bill Richardson’s term, and the second when he withdrew as the U.S.
secretary of commerce designee.