SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) –Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the New Mexico state budget for Fiscal Year 2022. According to the Governor’s Office, the $7.4 billion package, which was approved by the state Legislature assists and enhances state investments in public education, early childhood well-being, economic development, and pandemic relief, behavioral health, and infrastructure.
The budget for the year starts on July 1, 2021, and according to a press release, maintains 24% of recurring expenditures in reserves or $1.7 billion, and $1.5% raises for public school and higher education personnel in addition to state employees, and frontline health and social service workers.
The Governor’s Office states that following a year of financial uncertainty due to the pandemic, budgets were mostly flat with increases for agencies covering health, education, and early childhood well-being. Over the amended the Fiscal Year 2021 budget, spending will increase 5% with 36% of new General Fund spending going into education initiatives.
Additional highlights of the budget include the following:
- $30.7 million increase to the Human Services Department to expand mental health and substance use disorder services
- $17.5 million increase for projects funded through the Local Economic Development Act
- $12 million in additional funding for the Opportunity Scholarship and Lottery Scholarship
- $17 million to restore and revitalize the state’s all-important tourism economic sector as New Mexico works toward the end of the COVID-19 pandemic
- $300 million for roadway infrastructure and improvements
According to the Governor’s Office, the final budget which was approved during the 60-day session is larger than the governor’s executive budget recommendation with slightly smaller reserves. On Friday, April 9 the governor also signed legislation on capital appropriations (House Bill 285), reauthorization of prior appropriations (House Bill 296), and special General Fund appropriations (Senate Bill 377).