This would be hilarious if it wasn’t so damnably sad. The New Mexico state legislature had a devil of a time balancing its budget this year, so what did those geniuses do? Why, they passed a bill creating a new cabinet department! In this case, the Department of Hispanic Affairs, which, as I explain in my New Mexico Independent column today, we most emphatically do not need.
Thankfully, Governor Bill Richardson had the good sense to veto this unfunded mandate, but could he just veto it and leave it at that? God forbid. He’s a Democrat, after all, so he had to waffle and backpedal and create a Hispanic Affairs advisory council and promise to work with next year’s legislature to create an Office of Hispanic Affairs. Oh, okay. We can’t afford the Department, so let’s just not call it a department.
Those of you who don’t live in New Mexico may not realize just how different “Hispanic” in New Mexico is from Hispanic in any other state in the U.S. My column will enlighten you.