- Budget funds critical public safety initiatives to protect New Mexicans and enhance early childhood programs
SANTA FE – Today, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed the FY2017 budget on a bipartisan 38-31 vote. The budget is fiscally responsible, while still funding priorities that will keep our communities safe, protect New Mexico’s children and provide students with a quality education.
“We worked hard to secure support for necessary priorities. This budget will fund the initiatives that have been passed this session aimed to protect New Mexico families,” Larry Larranaga, Chairman of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, said. “Our budget includes increases to pay our state police and corrections officers an appropriate salary. It was tough, but we were also able to increase funding for education programs and job creation initiatives.”
Ensuring New Mexico’s families are safe and protected is a top priority this session. The Department of Corrections will see an increase of $12.1 million, and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will receive $5.1 million. The additional funding will aid the recruitment and retention of officers. DPS will receive an additional $1.2 million to process the existing backlog of untested rape kits in the state and $600,000 to establish a centralized database for criminal records.
Our children deserve a world-class education. This budget also increases funding to public education by $31.2 million and provides $7.3 million for key early childhood programs, which includes $3 million for prekindergarten. It allocates a $2 million increase for K-3 Plus, pre-K and early reading programs.
The Children, Youth and Families Department also receives an increase of $6.1 million to protect neglected and abused children and to hire more social workers.
To help grow jobs in the state, the budget allocates a total of $8 million to support the Economic Development Department’s Job Training Incentive Program. It also authorizes $1.25 million for the creation of a rapid workforce development program within the Department of Workforce Solutions.