After a lengthy floor debate, the House of Representatives approved a budget plan for the State of New Mexico that boosts spending. It now advances to the Senate with two weeks left in the Legislative Session.
Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:
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With two weeks left in the 30-day legislative session, the House of Representatives approved a $8.47 billion dollar budget plan, which is up 13.8 percent from last year.
New Mexico is constitutionally required to produce a balanced budget for each fiscal year, July 1 to June 30.
According to the Legislative Analysis, the approved budget provides average compensation increases of 7 percent for all state and education employees, brings all state minimum salaries up to $15 / hour, fully funds Medicaid backfilled use of onetime federal funding and invests in a range of public safety, healthcare, and family initiatives.
The budget also increased funding for the early childhood education and care fund by $15.3 million—including $2 million for home visiting, $1.4 million for tribal early childhood services, $10.6 million for prekindergarten, and $1 million for early childhood workforce supports such as scholarships and wage supplements.
The analysis also states that the budget aims to improve policing with raises of almost 16 percent for state police officers, targeted pay increases for other positions key to addressing and reducing violent crime, and almost $700 thousand for the Law Enforcement Academy Board, which oversees officer training, certification, and misconduct allegations for all law enforcement officers statewide
The Budget was approved by a 55 to 13 vote and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza