capitol reports

2023 Capitol Report – Tuesday, January 17

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The First Session of the 56th New Mexico Legislature starts today at Noon. 112 elected state lawmakers will convene in the state capitol in Santa Fe, fondly referred to as the Roundhouse.

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:

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State Legislators from communities around New Mexico will gather today at Noon to kick off the 2023 Legislative Session. This year’s legislative session is a “long 60-day” session, meaning that legislators can introduce and consider bills on nearly every topic area that impacts everyday New Mexicans.

The legislature is expected to take on big issues such as crime, health care, economic development, education, housing, government ethics, and energy issues.

At the top of the list of items to tackle this legislative session is the State budget. Both the powerful Legislative Finance Committee and the Executive Branch released their budget recommendations last week.

With the revenue forecast predicting a second year of extraordinary income for New Mexico, the Legislative budget recommends spending $9.44 billion from the state’s general fund, a 12 percent, or $1.04 billion, increase over FY23 planned spending.

Legislative Budget priorities include public education, the opportunity scholarship, Medicaid rates increases for healthcare providers, behavioral healthcare for children, and targeted salary increases for university faculty, judicial agency staff, child protective services workers, forensic scientists, and public school principals in addition to the 5 percent average salary increase proposed for all public employees.

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