Republicans aren’t crazy with how the governor and fellow Democrats plan on spending a billion dollar budget surplus. Instead, they have their own ideas.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she’s eager to spend the extra money on education, criminal justice reform and paying off a big Hollywood tab. But Republicans want her to slow down, especially when it comes to dishing out millions to Hollywood.
“And when we lift the rebate cap the industry in our state will be broader, including our pueblos and tribes, our rural communities, workers up and down the economic spectrum,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham during her State of the State address.
“I think we can all agree that the film industry is important in New Mexico and go ahead and take a look at those caps and that seemed very ambitious to me,” said Rep. Rebecca Dow (R) Truth or Consequences. “But I do think we need to take a look at it and find a moderate middle ground.”
New Mexico has a $50 million annual tax credit cap to pay back film productions. It has caused the state to have a $300 million backlog in credits.
Republicans in both chambers said using the surplus to pay off that $300 million debt to Hollywood is not good spending practices.
Rep. Dow would rather see more money spent paying back school districts. She said districts have taken big hits and forced to make cuts for years.
Senate Republicans want to spend about $450 million on teacher’s salaries and schools.
House Minority Leader, James Townsend (R) Artesia, would also like to see at least $500 to $600 million on fixing our state roads.
Gov. Lujan Grisham’s budget also recommends spending $300 million to fix roads, bridges and rail projects statewide.