N.M. HOUSE News:
SANTA FE – The House of Representatives has passed the budget. The House passed the Senate Finance Committee substitute SB 313 on a 58 to 8 vote. It now heads to the Governor.
SB 331 prioritizes education with increased spending in public education spending. SB 331 is a reflection of HB 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
“This entire legislative session, Democrats have outlined our education priorities,” said Speaker of the House W. Ken Martinez, D-Bernalillo, Cibola, McKinley, Socorro, San Juan, Valencia. “Our priorities are decreasing class sizes, protecting funding for the school funding formula, standing up for local teachers and administrators to control where they think the money is best spent, and giving teachers a much needed pay raise. Government works, and this budget helps working New Mexico families.”
“I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to get this budget done, leaders from both parties, from both the House and the Senate and the governor’s office,” Martinez said. “This is a budget we can be proud of.”
Senate Bill 313cs appropriates a total of $6.17 billion, an increase of $291.8 million, or 5 percent, over the previous General Appropriations Act, while leaving reserves at 8.7 percent.
Notable spending increases included compensation increases for state and public school employees; an additional $28 million for early childhood education initiatives; and public and higher education funding increases of a 6.6 percent and 5.8 percent.
Highlights of budget include:
- Recurring general fund appropriations added $2.7 million to the marketing program for the NM Tourism Department;
- $1.5 million for the job training/recruitment program at the Economic Development Department;
- $5.9 million for expanding the capacity of graduate nursing education, undergraduate nursing deduction, and resident physician programs;
- $9 million to match with $21 million of federal funds to provide a rate increase to hospitals contingent on legislation to generate county support for the Medicaid program;
- $10 million for economic development projects pursuant to the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) and $500 thousand for the MainStreet program’
- $4 million to replenish the higher education endowment fund, $3 million for special education maintenance of effort requirements;
- $2.5 million for public education common core state standards; and
- $2.9 million to ensure students who received four or more semesters of the legislative lottery scholarship receive awards for full tuition costs for FY15.