NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Both Republicans and Democrats say they’ll work together to tackle some of the top issues facing New Mexico in this year’s legislative session such as education, crime, healthcare, and tax reform.
This legislative session will have a record amount of money to do it, with an extra 3.6 billion dollars in new money this year. This is an opportunity New Mexico has never had before, but state lawmakers warn that doesn’t mean they can go on a spending spree.
“I really think we need to be a little more disciplined in our spending and not spend every single dollar that comes in, put some away for a rainy day,” Rep. Jason Harper said.
“We have increased this budget by 30 percent over the last two years and in New Mexico, if we don’t plan for reserves and restrain ourselves, we could come back and do cuts,” Sen. George Munoz said.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is proposing to put $1 billion towards another round of tax rebates for New Mexicans. Munoz believes if those rebates come back this year, they need to be for the most vulnerable.”But if we’re going to do something we’re going to have to really target it. Target it to the inflationary pressures like our senior citizens, right?”
With Democrats holding all the power, Republicans acknowledge the fight they have to get their bills through.”There was certain legislation that I carried for six years that I couldn’t get passed and then as soon as someone else carried the bill it got passed,” Rep. Gail Armstrong said. “It’s very frustrating but in the end, if it’s something that’s good for New Mexicans, we’re happy.”