SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) — The House just passed a record $9.4 billion budget proposal Thursday for fiscal year 2024 with big funding for New Mexico schools and police. House Bill 2 focuses on investments in key areas like public safety, education, healthcare, transportation, and the environment.
“It’s not just this year, it’s not just next year, and it won’t be forever, but it’s a moment in time where New Mexico has the most opportunity we’ve ever had to make lasting investments, to make smart savings, and to do the sort of things that New Mexicans, no matter where they live, no matter what background they come from, they know is going to be meaningful in their lives,” explained Representative Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces.)
Small said his budget has bipartisan support from the House and Senate, and this budget spends slightly less than the LFC budget laid out.
Representative Joy Garratt (D-Albuquerque) said this budget presents the biggest investment in children New Mexico has ever made including: raising public school appropriations by nearly 9%, giving educators 5% raises, and giving $119 million to the Opportunity Scholarship for Higher Education.
The budget gives $7.87 million to community safety for things like recruiting police and pay increases for judges, state police, dispatchers, and other law enforcement.
“To ensure the safety of communities across New Mexico, House Bill 2 funds a set of smart and comprehensive solutions that both provide our police with the resources they need today and invest in proven programs to deter crime in the long run,” said Representative Meredith Dixon (D-Bernalillo.)
It gives 18% more to Medicaid than last year’s budget and tens of millions to help provide housing access across the state. It also gives $1.5 billion to infrastructure projects around the state.
The budget also allots nearly $340 million to conservation, climate, and environmental protection, and millions for state park improvements.