Part of the original staff of the Legislative Council Service founded in 1951, she impressed governors, legislators, and journalists with her fiscal expertise. In nearly 30 years of service, she developed many of the financial procedures that modernized state government and helped bring order to New Mexico’s finances.
Early in her career, Inez Bushner Gill impressed governors, legislators and journalists with her fiscal expertise. Among the original staff of the Legislative Council Service when it was founded in 1951, she served as fiscal analyst and principal staff for its finance committee. In 1957, she helped establish separate staff for what today is the Legislative Finance Committee. In her nearly 30-year tenure, she developed many of the financial procedures that modernized state government and helped create the Department of Finance and Administration, bringing much-needed order to New Mexico’s state finances. She and Marilyn Budke, Gill’s first intern, are widely considered two of the most important and influential women in New Mexico state government.
A Gallup native who served as an American intelligence operative during World War II, she was known as the “gal behind the scenes” in the early days of the New Mexico Legislative Council Service. She was one of the original four staff members of the Legislative Council Service, an agency created in 1951 to assist the legislature with its work. Among other accomplishments, she wrote the first comprehensive Index to Revenue Sources—all taxes, fees, and other revenue collected by the state. She was the moving force in the modernization of state government, helping with development of many of the fiscal procedures that govern state taxation and revenue, school finance, and public indebtedness.
Her fiscal expertise influenced governors and legislators and helped the public better understand the financial needs of the New Mexico government. Often the one who told it like it was—to legislators and governors alike—she once pointed to all the New Mexico statutes and called them her life’s work. She was deeply involved in establishing both the Department of Finance and Administration and the Legislative Finance committee, and was instrumental in bringing more order to state finances.
Gill stayed at the Legislative Council Service as the Legislative Fiscal Analyst until 1977 and was known for helping members see the whole picture and understand the implications of their legislative proposals. Not much passed in the tax area in the New Mexico legislature without her signoff.
She also defended government bureaucracies against the charges of becoming too unwieldy. She viewed it as a necessary part of government—spending other people’s money could not be approached as it is in a private business where profit is the motive. She firmly believed that in government, it is imperative to confirm that money—which belongs to citizens—is spent for purposes that align with what citizens have expressed through who they elected. A strong, outspoken proponent of accountability in government, she brought fiscal strength to New Mexico and was a respected and honored public servant. She and her first intern, Maralyn Budke, were widely considered two of the most important and influential women in New Mexico state government.
“Inez Gill—A Tough, Intelligent and Dedicated State Employee.” New Mexican, Inside the Capitol, March 3, 1982.
“Inez B. Gill Helped State.” Albuquerque Journal, March 12, 1982.