Gov. Lujan Grisham releases FY 2021 executive budget
Education represents almost 50 percent of new spending, including another round of raises for educators and school personnel; other highlights include significant investments in infrastructure, health and well-being, public safety
SANTA FE – Ahead of the 2020 legislative session to begin later this month, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday released her second state budget proposal as New Mexico governor.
The fiscal year 2021 executive recommendation underscores the governor’s commitment to the next step in growth for the state of New Mexico, centering fiscal responsibility while making bold investments in education, economic development, public safety, and the care and wellbeing of New Mexicans.
“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,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “We are investing for tomorrow and delivering today.”
The budget proposal includes the following:
- An overall general fund recurring budget of $7.68 billion, an 8.4 percent increase, with a 25 percent general fund reserve target.
- An expansion of the education moonshot to cover education from cradle to career, with more than 47 percent of all new recurring spending going toward the educational continuum, from early childhood to higher education.
- A $74 million increase in early childhood services to establish a fully functioning Early Childhood Education and Care Department overseeing the coordination and expansion of critical services, including $26 million to expand child care assistance by changing eligibility from 150% to 200% of the federal poverty level; $15.6 million to provide raises for thousands of child care providers statewide; $19.9 million to expand public and private pre-k slots for three- and four- year olds; $3 million to expand home visiting services; $3.5 million to expand Family, Infant, Toddler (FIT) early intervention program services; and $2.4 million to continue to implement provider rate increases.
- $320 million in non-recurring funds to create the new Early Childhood Trust Fund, which will provide a dedicated and self-sustaining revenue stream to fund early childhood programs into the future.
- A $200.3 million increase in the Public Schools budget for a total recurring budget of approximately $3.4 billion, including a second consecutive year of pay increases for educators and all school personnel; a $17 million increase to support a thriving educator ecosystem, including professional development and retention; a $12 million increase to support whole-child education and the bilingual and multicultural framework; $182 million in continued funding for the K-5 Plus and Extended Learning Time programs; $53 million to increase the at-risk index, building on the prior year’s $113.2 million increase; $12 million to support the implementation of a community school framework in schools across New Mexico; and a $12 million increase to support competency-based science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) standards and build up career technical and vocational education and apprenticeships programs.
- $35 million to fund the New Mexico Opportunity Scholarship, expected to benefit 55,000 New Mexico students by making college tuition-free for New Mexico residents, restoring the initial promise of the Lottery Scholarship and re-establishing essential career pathways for New Mexicans all across the state.
- A continuation of last year’s critical investments in economic development and successes in diversifying and expanding the economy, including $200 million for roads, bridges and rail projects throughout the state, building on last year’s appropriation of $450 million for state and local road projects; $40 million to continue funding the Local Economic Development Act, $10 million of which specifically to be used for rural infrastructure projects; $9 million for New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program; nearly $1 million to expand the Office of Outdoor Recreation; funding for expanded staffing at Spaceport America; funding for expanded staffing in the New Mexico Film Office to handle increased film credit activity; and $5 million to expand the New Mexico True campaign and continue to attract tourism to New Mexico.
- Major investments in caring for New Mexicans’ health and wellbeing, including a $28.7 million increase to build a new behavioral health network, including community based health services, effectively addressing substance use disorders, and addressing the behavioral needs of justice-involved individuals; an 8 percent increase in funding for the Department of Health, including to serve additional hundreds of New Mexicans on the Developmentally Disabled waiver waiting list and develop a new supports waiver service; $350,000 to create a new Office of Wholesale Drug Importation within the Department of Health to develop, plan, apply for and negotiate with the federal government for approval of a Canadian wholesale drug importation plan to ensure drug safety and significantly reduce costs to New Mexicans across the state; $55.8 million to increase the Medicaid budget; and a $22 million increase for the Children, Youth and Families Department, including funding for 62 new positions, behavioral health services, and rate increases for guardians and care providers.
- $25 million in non-recurring funds to create the Kiki Saavedra Senior Dignity Fund to address high-priority areas for seniors across New Mexico, including transportation, food insecurity, physical and behavioral health services, case management and caregiver services.
- Underscoring a commitment to protecting New Mexico families with $163.9 million for public safety, including funding for 60 new State Police officers, new forensic lab staff, and a new data-sharing system to address gaps in inter-agency communication around the state, as well as $6.3 million for state police recruitment and retention initiatives.
- A 3 percent salary increase for all state employees; a 2 percent salary increase for all higher education employees; and funding to accompany the proposal to fix the state pension shortfall.
The governor’s full budget proposal can be found here.