SANTA Fe – Wednesday evening, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed both a new revenue package and a budget for fiscal year 2018. Taken together, the two bills will allow New Mexico to have a balanced budget and raise cash reserves to a respectable 3.2 percent.
HB 202 comprised of a package of provisions to raise new money for the state to mitigate and avoid further devastating cuts to education, Medicaid, and other critical areas. Budget predictions from the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee project a $120 to $125 million hole for fiscal year 2018.
The new revenue package will generate an estimated $250.3 million in FY18 and $255.3 million in FY19. This revenue will not balance the budget and mitigate further cuts to critical programs, but it will also raise our cash reserves to 3 percent of expenditures.
“This is a long overdue, responsible and measured tax reform proposal to level the playing field to create fair policy,” said Rep. Carl Trujillo (D-Santa Fe), the bill’s sponsor and acting chair of the Tax and Revenue Committee. “Our state is in unchartered times financially. If we refuse to create a more fair tax policy, we will only sink further into fiscal abyss. We need to show we are serious about making smart policy.”
HB 202 passed the House on a vote of 37 to 32 and next moves to the Senate. For more details on the revenue package, click HERE.
HB 2 includes FY18 recurring general fund appropriations of $6.087 billion, $8 million higher than FY17.
“This bill is the main reason that we are here this legislative session,” said Rep. Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup), the bill’s sponsor and chair of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. “This budget was put together by a strong and dedicated team. We may be from different parties and we may have different priorities, but we work very well together. For everyone on the committee, the focus is on the budget and the focus is on the state of New Mexico.”
HB 202 passed the House on a vote of 37 to 32 and next moves to the Senate.