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Governor Signs $7 Billion State Operating Budget

on April 7, 2019 - 9:16am

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

STATE News:

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed the $7.086 billion New Mexico state budget for Fiscal Year 2020, delivering transformational investments in public education; essential funding increases for early childhood education and intervention; substantial and creative boosts to the state’s economic development and workforce initiatives; four hundred million for roadway infrastructure across the state; and across-the-board pay increases for state employees and judges.

 
General fund reserves will rise to 20 percent.
 
“Our budget is thoroughly responsible and yet bold in ways that will significantly boost New Mexico families,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “As we begin the essential work of rebuilding our economy, education system and government, this budget provides a solid foundation, with healthy reserves, well-earned raises for diligent workers, and sizable investments in our children, families and their quality of life.”
 
The FY2020 budget includes a $3.24 billion public schools budget, a 16 percent increase over the prior year, representing $446 million in additional money. The budget provides for 6 percent raises for all school personnel; $38.2 million for raises to the three-tier minimum educator salary licensure system; and additional investments to provide for raises to minimum principal salaries.
 
The budget also invests $113 million for at-risk schools, increases the state’s investment in bilingual and multicultural education programs, increases the Indian Education Fund by roughly 200 percent and establishes a framework for community schools. Additional investments include instructional materials, extended learning time and additional accountability measures for the Public Education Department.
 
A $20 million investment will replenish the college affordability fund; another $20 million will be put toward the teacher loan repayment fund; the state will also fund a statewide adult literacy program and the launch of four new Centers of Excellence at state colleges and universities that will provide a career pathway for young adults into exciting growth industries.
 
The budget includes a significant increase in funding for the Local Economic Development Act, a $75 million push for recruitment and retention of economic base jobs and $10 million for the Job Training Incentive Program among other investments that will help broaden the state’s economy into rural areas and new industries.
 
A revitalized Children, Youth and Families Department will see its budget increase 10.4 percent, an additional $29.1 million. The department will appropriate new funds to provide for 26 new positions in protective services, staff retention and a decrease in vacancy rates. The budget includes a $24.5 million increase in total funds for pre-kindergarten, to $88.5 million, as well as new investments in home-visiting services, at-risk child care and child care educator scholarships and wage supplements. The Child Welfare Information System will see a $7 million investment for modernization.
 
The Medicaid budget will increase by 5.2 percent, or $52.3 million, over the prior year; the total budget will reach $6.039 billion and support provider network growth, with an emphasis on behavioral health, primary care and rural providers. Increased investments put toward the Developmental Disabilities Waiver will help decrease the waiting list and implement a supports waiver.
 
The Department of Transportation will see its largest budget in 15 years, a base budget of more than $915 million. The budget includes $250 million in one-time funds for major infrastructure investment projects across the state, including tens of millions for U.S. 285, Interstate 10 and many others. The budget also includes $89 million for smaller district projects divided evenly between the department’s six districts.
 
The budget includes $2.5 million for the Departments of Health, Public Safety and Homeland Security and Emergency Management to implement the Hidalgo County action plan aimed at improved security, health response and public safety communication capabilities at the southwestern border.
 
The budget includes funds for across-the-board four percent raises for state employees, six percent raises for judges, and a five percent increase for state employees making less than $25,000 on a full-time basis.

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