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Jalisco Governor signs state budget

January 7, 2013

Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez resisted the temptation to veto the  State Congress’ budget that had prompted a default on 1.4 billion pesos of debt incurred from hosting the 2011 Pan American Games.

Gonzalez approved the 2013 budget of 77.7 billion pesos last week despite his anger that legislators approved the bill without including the Pan Am debt.

“Common good comes before partisan benefit,” said National Action Party (PAN) legislator Gildardo Torres, suggesting that Gonzalez had acted in the best interests of the state.

Gonzalez has vowed to pay off the debt, justifying his decision to borrow the funds for the games by claiming that Guadalajara would have been humiliated had it cancelled such a high-profile event.

“We would have been discredited worldwide,” he wrote on Twitter last week.

“The government will move forward by adjusting and reducing its expenses – not raising taxes,” Gonzalez added.

These reductions will include a modest decrease in the governor’s exorbitant salary, although with Gonzalez stepping down on March 1, his successor will be the one whose pockets are hit.

Under the budget for 2013, the base salary of the top state official will drop 12,727 pesos from 332,853 pesos per month to 320,125. The governor’s Christmas bonus will also drop by 26,000 pesos from 496,736 pesos to 470,180, but his civil servant bonus will increase from 69,234 pesos to 85,400.

In total, the next governor will still stand to make 4.4 million pesos per year, an astronomical figure compared to the national average or minimum wage.

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