House Democrats focus on putting historic state budget to work for New Mexicans, with major investments in public safety, education, and climate
Santa Fe, N.M. – The New Mexico House of Representatives called to order the Second Session of the 55th Legislature today at 12 p.m. During the 30-day legislative session, lawmakers will create the state budget for the next fiscal year and consider bills on priority issues.
House Democrats are focused on using the state’s historic revenues to deliver results for hardworking New Mexicans with investments and legislation to make communities safer, improve educational outcomes for New Mexico’s students, expand access to broadband and healthcare, and take necessary action to address climate change and transition to a clean energy economy.
“Our unprecedented state budget presents us with a tremendous opportunity this session. We must invest these funds responsibly to ensure we can make the transformational change that communities and families across our state so badly need,” said Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe) in his opening remarks.
Bold legislative priorities for House Democrats include:
House Democrats are introducing legislation to address crime and make communities safer across New Mexico immediately, while also making crucial community investments to prevent crime in the long run. Actions House Democrats propose include: improving law enforcement recruitment and retention, tackling auto theft with measures to reduce demand for stolen cars, enhanced pre-trial monitoring for certain violent criminals, responsible gun laws, and investments in behavioral health.
“I know from conversations with my constituents, their number one concern is reducing crime and making our neighborhoods safer,” said Representative Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque).
Education and Educators
House Democrats will increase teacher salaries, invest in our schools and students, and work to address learning loss caused by the pandemic so that all children in New Mexico have the opportunity to succeed.
“When New Mexico can start offering a better starting salary and benefits, we can attract more qualified teachers to stay in our state and continue to make positive impacts in the lives of their students,” said Representative Debra Sariñana (D-Albuquerque.).
Economy and Business
House Democrats will also utilize unprecedented state revenues and American Rescue Plan Act dollars to support economic development statewide by improving job training and economic development programs, investing in job-creating infrastructure, and expanding the Buy New Mexico Initiative to increase state procurement preference for locally and veteran-owned businesses, and make tribal businesses eligible to receive in-state preference.
Broadband and Healthcare
Across New Mexico, particularly in rural areas, too many people still lack access to healthcare and broadband. House Democrats will continue to fight for healthcare and our healthcare workers, and work to improve broadband infrastructure statewide during this session.
Climate and Energy
House Democrats are charting a path for a transition to a clean energy future that will both address climate change and create good-paying, sustainable jobs by committing to net zero emissions for a cleaner future and taking steps to preserve the natural resources and public lands that make the Land of Enchantment so unique.
“By reducing CO2 greenhouse emissions, we can ensure a stronger economy and healthier environment for all New Mexicans,” said Representative Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces).
The Roundhouse is open to the public for the session. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to enter the building. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings of this 30-day legislative session on the New Mexico legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.