A proposed Constitutional Amendment that would invest tens of millions of dollars every year into the success of New Mexico’s kids passed the Senate Rules Committee this week.
But as Tom Trowbridge reports from the Roundhouse, the proposal had to be scaled down first.
For several years, Albuquerque Democratic Representative Javier Martinez has co-sponsored the proposed constitutional amendment that, with voter approval, would take proceeds from the New Mexico Land Grant Permanent Fund and devote them to early childhood education programs statewide. The going rate of the previous proposals was one-percent. But under the version of the measure that passed the Senate Rules Committee Monday, half that amount—one-half percent—would go to early childhood. Even at one-percent, Martinez is adamant about the need:
But Terri Cole, director of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, opposes the resolution:
A one-half percent distribution from the fund means about 76 million a year would be available for early childhood education under the current size of the endowment. The amount as first proposed would have been an estimated 153 million annually. The measure now goes before the Senate Finance Committee.
For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge