SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico House lawmakers have approved a proposal to increase funding for early childhood education in New Mexico by distributing more money from a multibillion dollar state sovereign wealth fund.
The House voted 36-33 on Tuesday in favor of the constitutional amendment to increase annual distributions from the Land Grant Permanent Fund by 1 percent. It now heads to the Senate for consideration. Last year, a similar measure stalled in the Senate.
Supporters say a substantial increase in state spending is needed to improve and expand preschool education. Approval by the Legislature would set up a statewide vote in November.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration is seeking more general fund spending for early childhood education but opposes greater investment withdrawals. Constitutional amendments do not require the governor’s signature.