SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – With record-high income from oil and gas production in the state, many of New Mexico’s government agencies received a funding boost in 2022. Now, it appears most state agencies are asking for even more funding in the upcoming fiscal year.
A recent newsletter from the state’s Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) tallies up those budget requests. In total, state agencies are asking for over half a billion dollars more in the upcoming fiscal year, which starts July 2023, than they received in fiscal year 2023, which began July 2022.
The state’s Human Services Department, which supports a range of programs from meals for the unhoused to Medicaid administration, received over $9 billion in combined federal and state funding for the current fiscal year. Over $1 billion of that was from the state’s general-use fund. Now, they’re asking for $252 million more from that fund.
Around 80% of that increase would be to cover an expected decrease in federal Medicaid funding, according to the LFC. The pandemic-era federal matching program will likely be reduced some time next year.
Other departments are asking for an increase as well. The Children, Youth and Families Department, which has come under fire amid child maltreatment reports and lawsuits with ex-employees, is asking for a 14% increase in funds, according to the LFC. That would be about $34 million additional dollars, the majority of which would go to Child Protective Services.
The state’s Higher Education Department is also looking for a boost. In order to keep the state’s Opportunity Scholarship Program running, along with covering some other costs, they’re asking for a 220% increase, according to the LFC. That would mean an increase of $153 million.
Public safety and judicial agencies are also asking for more, according to the LFC. As are departments such as the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department.
While these requests haven’t yet been approved (that will be decided during the next legislative session), the state is likely to have the funds necessary. Lawmakers have already forecasted an extra $2.5 billion or so in the budget this upcoming year thanks to continued high expectations for oil and gas revenues as tax income.