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November 2011_LFC Cover Letter

November 2011_LFC Cover Letter

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Published by AGOPIO
LFC Budget Hearing for AGO Letter from AG King
LFC Budget Hearing for AGO Letter from AG King

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Published by: AGOPIO on Nov 15, 2011
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05/02/2012

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November 15, 2011 The Honorable Senator John Arthur Smith, Chairman and Honorable Members of the Legislative Finance

Committee 325 Don Gaspar, Suite 101 Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 Re: Fiscal Year 2013Budget Request for Attorney General Gary King Dear Chairman Smith and Members of the Legislative Finance Committee: We seek your assistance and support for our FY’13 Budget Request. We continue to strive to not only fulfill our mission but also to strengthen the effectiveness of the programs we have instituted in the Attorney General’s Office. This letter will quickly summarize the funding request that is necessary to continue our efforts and sustain our level of service in order to best serve the citizens of New Mexico. You will find that there is no increase to the base budget request. We have proposed prudent amounts in our base budget request by continuing to budget conservative spending in Contractual Services and also the Other Expenditures Category. The Personal Services and Employee Benefits is requested at an agency-wide 3% vacancy rate. In addition to our base budget request, we would also request, from the legislature, a 3% merit increase for all AGO employees to assist us with becoming a competitive law office and to address retention issues. The Attorney General’s Office cannot continue to provide the current level of service if we have to increase our vacancy rate beyond the current level we have maintained this fiscal year. Although we continue to make a concerted effort to meet all additional demands placed upon the office, we are struggling with our current staffing level. We also request a 1.5 million general fund special appropriation for water litigation issues. The State of NM through the Attorney General is involved in litigation against the US Bureau of Reclamation regarding the operation of the Rio Grande Project (Elephant Butte Reservoir, Caballo Reservoir, EIBD and EP#1). The state brought suit

against the United States because it has abandoned the way it operated the project for the past century and has illegally changed the method of allocation of water to farmers in New Mexico and Texas. The base budget does not account for these anticipated costs and our commitments to zealously represent NM in water litigation. From the Consumer Protection Fund Balance, we request BAR authority for up to $500,000 for both fiscal years 2012 and 2013 to support the joint powers agreement with the Second Judicial District Attorney for expenses relating to the prosecutions of Rebecca Vigil-Giron, Armando Gutierrez, Elizabeth Kupfer, and Joseph Carl Kupfer. To acquaint the Committee with the many issues and services provided by the Attorney General’s Office, our presentation includes a description of our activity in Fiscal Year 2011. The materials give a brief highlight of the multitude of accomplishments and contributions made by our 14 Divisions. We encourage your review of that information. We are continuing to move forward successfully with our ambitious initiatives in the Attorney General’s Office. Through our collaborative efforts we have succeeded in providing quality legal service to the State of New Mexico and its citizens. Our presentation also includes an updated list of our multi-year grants and awards. Our grant awards total $6,199,782 and fund 22 full-time employees. Grants are not included in the budget request and are budgeted through budget adjustment requests. As always, my staff and I are most willing to meet with you to discuss in detail our Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request. Our continuing efforts to improve the effectiveness of the Attorney General’s Office are dependent on the support of the requests we are making for FY ’13. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to explain the needs of the Attorney General’s Office and look forward to working with you to develop your recommended appropriation for our agency. Sincerely,

Gary King ATTORNEY GENERAL

cc: David Abbey, Director LFC Randall Soderquist, Ph.D., Principal Analyst Tom Clifford, Cabinet Secretary, DFA Duffy Rodriguez, Deputy Secretary for Budget and Policy Markita Sanchez, Executive Budget Manager

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