NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The state is expecting billions of dollars of new money to spend when the legislature meets next month. Lawmakers are already looking at what to do with it.

“Leaders have opportunities to make once-in-a-lifetime investments for the state in things like water, rural health, broadband, cyber security – just to name a few,” says Secretary for the Department of Finance and Administration Deborah Romero. “But those are the once-in-a-lifetime things that we should invest in while not growing our recurring budgets.”

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The state is expecting more than $3.5 billion through increased oil and gas production and robust energy prices because of Russia’s war on Ukraine. Economists say wage growth and a surge in gross receipts tax revenue also helped.

Options include calls to put more money in reserves or use it on one-time spending like building projects or fixing the state’s roads. State economists warn lawmakers about factors that could weaken revenue – like inflation, a recession, and the volatility of oil and gas prices.

“While the state’s financial status looks promising, I caution against growing recurring budgets too much given the risks presented today,” says Romero.

Next year’s legislative session begins on January 17.