SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – On Monday, Governor Michelle Lujan released the fiscal year 2021 executive budget including an overall General Fund recurring budget of $7.68 billion which focuses, on education, economic development, and public safety.
“This budget consists of both bold investments and prudent decisions that continue to fix what was left broken, addressing urgent needs and strategically investing in sustainable improvements over the long term – all at once,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham in a press release. “We are investing for tomorrow and delivering today.”
The proposal includes an overall general fund recurring budget of $7.68 billion which is an 8.4% increase with a 25% general fund reserve target. This would include additional funds to hire State Police officers, create the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, and expand funding for childhood programs across the state.
Early Childhood Education and Care
The governor’s recommendation seeks to invest in early childhood education through an increase of $74 in General Fund to expand and improve services such as expanding child care assistance eligibility serving an additional 4,163 children, providing wage supplements for more than 3,000 childcare providers across the state, expanding home visiting services for more than 1,000 families, as well as the expansion of private and public pre-k slots.
Early Childhood Trust Fund
A $320 million one-time appropriation will create a new Early Childhood Trust Fund, providing a revenue funding early childhood programs. In later years, the fund will be funded through oil and gas revenues.
K-12 Public Schools
The Public Schools budget will increase by $200.3 million for a total recurring budget of about $3.4 billion.
All teachers and education personnel would see a 4% pay increase for a total of $92.7 million. This recommendation would also include a $17 million funding increase for professional development as well as mentoring for teachers at the beginning of their careers.
New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship
The proposal also lays out $35 million to fund the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship which is expected to benefit 55,000 New Mexico students.
The funding for the Department of Public Safety would have a budget of $163.9 million which would provide for 60 new New Mexico State Police officers training and equipment.
New Mexico’s legislative session begins on January 21. Read the governor’s full budget proposal here.