b'NM 2020 Safe and Happy Holiday Greetings ~ Feliz Navidad Y Prspero Ao Nuevo! NEW MEXICO Petroleum Marketers Association (NMPMA) ReportA sigh of relief in Santa Fe.Things dont look quite as badto simply shut down those opportuni-as the bean counters have been predicting. Revenue for fiscal yearties for the virus. Weve made so much 2022, which begins in July 2021, is now projected to be betweenprogress to sustain re-openings and $6.8 billion and $7.6 billion, according to the new estimates. Inour limited, safe in-person learning ef-June, economists had estimated that figure at only $5.9 billion.fortsbut that progress is rapidly dis-The current state budget is $7.2 billion, so were on track toappearing. Rollbacks will mean more avoid big budget cuts. State reserves are expected to swell toeconomic turmoil for so many workers over 29 percent or $2.1 billion as New Mexico heads into theand business owners in our state who next budget year. That budget gets hammered out at the legisla- have already suffered and sacrificed tive session in January. so much. But it is our only chance toprevent more devastating illness and New Mexico Notes While the budget news is less gloomy, we still have heavy liftingto save lives. No one wants to come toRuben Baca to do to get people back to work: that point. I detest the very thought ofNMPMAit. We have got to turn it around andExecutive DirectorNew Mexicos unemployment rate was 11.3 percent in August,fast. So I once again urge, with my down from 12.7 percent in July 2020 and up from 4.8 percent inwhole heart, that New Mexicans in every corner of the state, city August 2019. New Mexicos labor force dropped to 895,468 inleaders, county leaders, business leaders, community leaders all August 2020. This was an over-the-year decrease of 61,780. Thetake up the mantle of fighting this invisible enemy, of requiring labor force participation rate also dropped to 54.3 percent. Thisand encouraging safe behavior, of asking more of ourselves to was the good news, now comes the bad news. protect New Mexico. The crisis is not over. The virus is still with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday announced theus. Lets step it up, all together, once again.state of New Mexico will implement, and in some cases re- The state has missed its reopening gating criteria implement, several public health regulations later in the week toa measure of the spread of the virus that signals whether stem the alarming rise of COVID-19 illnesses statewide. additional day-to-day activity is safe and can be permittedThe governor also reiterated her stark warnings from recent for several weeks. Absent an improvement in those data,weeksas COVID-19 infections have spread rapidly throughoutthe state of New Mexico will once again restrict indoorall regions of the state, including an increase in COVID-19dining service and significantly roll back maximum occupancy hospitalizationsthat New Mexico may in the near future beallowances at other retail and dining establishments.compelled to re-enact even more stringent public health controlsThe states operative emergency public health order will expire to blunt the spread of the highly infectious and potentially lethalFriday, Oct. 16; it will be extended, with amendments.virus, which has already killed almost 1,000 New Mexicans. The governor and state health officials will, effective Friday, Without a vaccine, we have only a few tools against this awful,Oct. 16, append the following changes to the public health order invisible enemy, said Gov. Lujan Grisham. We must wearand associated public health guidance documents:our masks. We must avoid large groups of people. We mustTEMPORARY CLOSING TIME: Any food or drink establish-limit our travel outside of the home, particularly our time inment in New Mexico serving alcohol must close at 10:00 enclosed indoor spaces. When we do these things, we can crushp.m. each night. The governors Economic Recovery Council, the virus, and we protect our families, our communities and ourwhich has advised her administration on re-opening strategies state from being overrun by illness. But the virus is booming into strengthen and sustain the states workforce and economy New Mexico right now. The increases weve seen here are somethrough this crisis, made the recommendation for this manda-of the worst in the entire United States this fall. This kind oftory closing time.overwhelming and dramatic statewide spread signals one thing: Too many of us, succumbing to COVID fatigue, are no longerNew Mexico hotels and restaurants and our hospitality using those tools. Were no longer taking those precautions. Weemployees have suffered more from COVID than any other are giving the virus too many opportunities to spread. And thesector, said Allan Affeldt, hotel and restaurant owner and enemy is taking advantage. member of the Economic Recovery Council. In spite of that, When the community spread of the virus becomes uncontrolla- the overwhelming majority of hotels and restaurants are in bleand we are fast approaching that pointour only option issupport of the states COVID-Safe Practices and are doing continued on page 18WPMA News / Winter 202017'