2022 EXECUTIVE BUDGET recommendation

EXECUTIVE BUDGET RECOMMENDATION HIGHLIGHTS

                                 

The Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) executive budget recommendation builds upon the progress of the Lujan Grisham administration, responsibly investing in proven economic drivers and evidence-based educational initiatives while improving New Mexicans’ quality of life through funding for public safety, healthcare and hunger initiatives.

GENERAL FUND EXPENDITURES AND RESERVES

The Executive Recommendation includes an overall General Fund recurring budget of $8.45 billion, a 13.4 percent increase, with a 36.4 percent General Fund reserve target.

EDUCATION

Transforming the state’s educational system is this administration’s top priority, and this proposed budget serves as a capstone to these efforts ensuring that New Mexico students at all levels and at every stage of life are provided with the tools and resources necessary to succeed.

For our youngest students, this budget will provide approximately 735 additional openings for early childhood education and increase pay for pre-K educators, because we are clear that a child’s education begins before Kindergarten. Students in grade school will receive modern and personalized reading instruction ensuring that literacy rates increase and our children have the requisite language skills necessary to ensure educational success. High school students will benefit from additional funding for dual-credit programs, which will enable them to accumulate college credits while finishing their secondary education. And an additional 10,000 students across our state will have access to before/after school and summer enrichment programs.

Through expansion of the Opportunity Scholarship created by this administration in 2020, financial barriers to higher education will be permanently removed, ensuring that New Mexicans are not forced to choose between financial security and furthering their education. The proposed $85.5 million increase in the Opportunity Scholarship program will cover tuition costs for all New Mexico students of higher education, including non-traditional students and those seeking credit-bearing certificates. An estimated 22,000 additional New Mexicans will be able to achieve their educational goals because of this funding.

Finally, this budget includes $200.4 million to increase salary minimums for Level 1, 2, and 3 teachers to $50,000, $60,000, and $70,000 respectively. The Executive also calls for $76.9 million to provide 7% salary increases to teachers and school staff at public schools. Both compensation increases include a recommended overall benefit package expansion of $21.7 million for medical, dental, vision, disability, worker’s compensation, and unemployment insurance. Taken together, these compensation increases will make New Mexico’s teachers the highest paid of any neighboring state.

PUBLIC SAFETY

New Mexicans want to live in safe communities with fully staffed and well-trained law enforcement, and this administration is committed to getting an additional 1,000 officers on our streets. Accordingly, the Executive will commit $100 million to support and strengthen New Mexico law enforcement agencies by providing funding to retain and hire additional police officer and civilians, including administrators, dispatchers, scene technicians, evidence custodians, forensic laboratory personnel, public service aides, cold case investigators, investigative analysts, data analysts, and unmanned aerial vehicle operators. Helping departments increase support staffing means that our police officers can focus on doing what they do best: keep New Mexicans safe.

This year’s recommendation provides for a nearly 20% increase in pay for the New Mexico State Police, which will enhance their recruitment and training efforts. In addition, the recommendation provides DPS with significant funding to train roughly 100 additional state police officers in the next year to serve communities large and small across the state, filling every current officer vacancy.

As New Mexico’s climate continues to become drier, the Executive recommends providing resources that enable communities to respond to fires. For FY23, the Executive recommends $19.3 million for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, which conducts fire investigations, code enforcement, and oversees firefighter academies to train New Mexico firefighters. This includes $5 million to the Fire Protection Fund, which is distributed to local fire departments, and $13.2 million to help fire departments fund wildfire equipment, firehouse construction, hazmat equipment, stipends, and recruiting and retention programs for volunteer firefighters. The Executive also recommends $550,000 in general fund spending to the Forestry Division of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department to hire nine new wildland firefighters.

JOBS & ECONOMY

Overall economic activity in New Mexico has grown 4% over the past two years and tens of thousands of new jobs have been created. The state has demonstrated exceptional job growth and revenue increases, despite a pandemic. The Executive recommends building on this positive upswing by further investing in those solutions that produce results, including the state’s Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP) and the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA), which have collectively brought $5 billion in new capital investment to New Mexico with a projected economic impact of $30 billion since January 1, 2019.

To support these programs and others like them, the Executive recommends $18.5 million in general fund spending for the Economic Development Department (EDD), including $500,000 to expand outreach in attracting direct foreign investment, $6 million for JTIP, and $1 million to assist minority-owned small businesses in accessing financing and equity investments. Further, the proposed EDD budget includes $400,000 for business incubator grants and $300,000 for four additional economic development regional representatives to expand outreach and access to the department’s business development resources, especially in rural communities. The LEDA program will be supported through $50 million in nonrecurring funding.

New Mexico saw record spending within the film industry in 2021 – and it will continue to grow in the coming years as the state boosts support for the film and other creative industries. Accordingly, the Executive recommends increased funding to foster continued growth in this sector, including for minority filmmaker grants. Additionally, in collaboration with the Higher Education Department and industry professionals, EDD is requesting $50 million in capital outlay to create a Media Academy that better serves New Mexico students in the transition from education to employment in the state’s established film and media industry. This academy will be composed of a consortium of existing higher education institutions that feed into advanced training and paid internship opportunities. The goal of the initiative will be to enroll 1,000 students annually.

Beginning in April 2022, legalized cannabis will be available for sale. This new industry will create thousands of jobs and bring millions of dollars in revenue to New Mexico’s economy. In order to maximize its economic impact, sufficient staff will be necessary – for this reason, the Executive recommends $6.5 million in additional spending to support the new Cannabis Control Division (CCD). This amount, combined with $3.2 million in other revenue, will source 35 new staff at CCD. To further support this new industry and to protect consumers, the Executive recommends $2.3 million in general fund spending to the Department of Environment for 19 new positions within the Hemp and Cannabis Bureau, which will oversee and regulate cannabis food products.

ENVIRONMENT

In the last three years, this administration has made incredible strides toward building nationally leading policies and protections for our environment, including setting a greenhouse gas emissions goal of at least 45% by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050; implementing nationally leading emissions rules in the oil and gas industry; significantly expanding green energy through solar tax credits and economic incentives for clean energy projects; and increasing compliance efforts around the state.

The Executive recommends all state natural resources agencies receive additional funding to continue to build upon these efforts, including a 16.4% increase to the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) and a 4.5% increase to the Environment Department (NMED).

This includes funding to bolster the state’s efforts on climate change, which continues to threaten our environment, our health and our way of life. The state must continue to back our commitment to fighting climate change with commensurate funding. The Executive recommendation includes $2.5 million to create a first-of-its-kind Climate Change Bureau within the Environment Department with 15 staff. The Bureau will implement Clean Car rules, the Clean Fuel Standard Act, the Hydrogen Hub Act and develop additional policies to get New Mexico to netzero emissions by 2050. The Executive also recommends a $708,000 increase for grid modernization and climate coordination activities within EMRND.

The Executive also recommends funding that is critical to protecting our state’s precious water resources. The recommendation includes $1.5 million to NMED for watershed and wetland restoration and protection and the addition of a water resources professional to the staff of the Office of the Natural Resources Trustee. The Office of the State Engineer will also receive a 4.3% increase in its funding, including 15 additional employees to address critical water issues in our state, including drought, climate change, dam safety, acequias, and to implement the state’s 50-year water plan.

Funding for EMNRD includes a $1.5 million allocation to boost oil and gas industry compliance monitoring by hiring 20 additional inspectors.

New Mexicans value our incredible natural resources, and that’s why the Executive also recommends $2 million dedicated to improving our beloved state parks, which are visited by thousands of New Mexicans and visitors every year.

HUNGER INITIATIVE

In the last three years, New Mexico had the second-largest improvement in food insecurity rates in the country – but there is more to do to end hunger in New Mexico. FY23 presents an extraordinary opportunity to leverage additional funding toward hunger initiatives. The Executive recommends $14.4 million to support statewide food and hunger initiatives utilized by eight state agencies for programs that will benefit New Mexicans in every corner of the state, from preschoolers to seniors. In addition, funding will support food banks and hunger relief organizations throughout New Mexico and provide additional resources for agricultural producers to grow more food for New Mexicans.

HELPING HOME CAREGIVERS

This administration is dedicated to making sure that family members, friends and others providing care to loved ones are supported. The Executive recommendation includes $3 million for a home caregivers program within the Aging and Long Term Services Department that will provide physical therapy, respite, homemaker services and minor home modifications.

TRIBAL INITIATIVES

Twenty-three sovereign nations, tribes, and pueblos have borders within New Mexico, and the state will continue to work to uphold our responsibility to our state’s first citizens. To that end, the Executive recommends increasing funding for the Indian Affairs Department, including $4.4 million in general fund spending, which allocates $831,000 for suicide prevention in tribal communities and $57,900 for recurring funding for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women taskforce. Furthermore, the Executive recommends $1.4 million of Early Childhood trust fund revenue to ECECD for tribal early childhood investments. The Executive also recommends $9.7 million in funding to the Public Education Department for the Indian Education Fund to improve educational outcomes for Native American students.

Likewise, the Executive calls for $10.2 million for Native American Student Education to leverage Indian Education funding to expand and enhance programs such as New Mexico Indigenous Languages initiatives, Native Language Database, and Grow Your Own Indigenous Language Teacher Pipeline. For higher education, the Executive recommends supporting the Institute of American Indian Education at the University of New Mexico in providing professional development on culturally relevant pedagogy, a Native American Teacher Residency Program and addressing the disproportionately low number of Native American licensed K-12 teachers in New Mexico.

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