capitol reports

Capitol Report 2/7/2022 – Legislation Designed to Make Strategic Investments to Diversify NM’s Economy

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Legislation designed to diversify New Mexico’s economy and reduce the state’s reliance on oil and gas revenues is awaiting a hearing the Senate Finance Committee

 

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:

 

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Senators George Munoz and Benny Shendo have introduced legislation to create the Economic Diversification and Climate Resilience Fund using fifty percent of the oil and gas production tax revenue that would otherwise flow into the general fund.

 

These taxes include the oil and gas emergency school tax and the oil and gas conservation tax. Senate Bill 155 would divert those revenues into a separate fund that would then be appropriated by the legislation for nonrecurring investments to diversify New Mexico’s economy.

 

Allowable purposes of these one-time funds include: economic development efforts designed to attract investments and job creation, workforce training and development, public works infrastructure, projects to support conservation, restoration, remediation, and improvements of public lands, forests, watersheds, parks and trails, as well as other efforts to promote long-term economic growth, diversify the state economy or reduce the state reliance on fossil fuel development.

Advocates for the legislation say that “With significant changes to global energy demand expected to occur in the coming decades, New Mexico needs to act now to reduce our state budget dependence on oil and gas revenue, and needs to use those funds to make significant, thoughtful, and targeted investments in diversifying our state economy and protecting our public lands.

 

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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