NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico is short more than 6,500 nurses. For most of the state, there’s an average of one mental health counselor for every thousand people.

Monday, the Senate Education Committee discussed two bills to fix that problem. One bill would give the Higher Education Department $100,000 to conduct a feasibility study to create training programs for community health workers and counselors at colleges. Senate Bill 148 passed committee unanimously.

Another bill also asks for $100,000 for the Higher Education Department for a different study. It would determine the feasibility of providing free tuition to graduate students in psychology, psychiatric nursing, social work, and counseling programs if they agreed to work in the state for four years. Senate Bill 149 also passed committee.