Economy for Everyone Amendment Fails Along Party Vote
House Republicans Vote AGAINST Economy for Everyone Proposal
We need to pass a budget that will create an economy for everyone, not just the wealthy few
SANTA FE – Today, House Democrats introduced an amendment to House Bill 2 that will ensure that the New Mexico Legislature invests in all New Mexicans. The amendment called for funding for job creation, children, working families, education, and rural economic development. The Economy for Everyone proposal failed to pass the House along partisan vote.
“We must to build a stronger and more secure economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few,” said House Democratic Leader, Representative Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “The same-old trickle down economic policies and band-aid fixes are not working. The budget presented by House Republicans is not a ladder of opportunity. New Mexicans are counting on us to pass a budget that will give families an opportunity to get ahead. Passing the Republican budget that keeps the status quo means that they are passing a budget that shores up poverty. That’s why we are introducing the Economy for Everyone Amendment. New Mexico’s working families cannot wait another year for our government to act, now is the time to ensure that we have an economy that works for everyone.”
“The passed Republican budget not only prioritizes prisons over families and teachers, but will also create a structural deficit in our budget. We will now begin Fiscal Year ’17 in a deficit because we used non-recurring money to pay for recurring expenses,” said Representative Patricia Lundstrom (D-Gallup), a committee member of the House and Finance Committee. “The families in our communities are counting on us to pass a budget that addresses the problems they are facing. The Economy for Everyone amendment will redirect $1 million to the Higher Education Department to provide challenge grants to rural community colleges to increase job training. It will also increase funding for Family Support Services at CYFD by $500,000. This will bring the total program funding to $1 million in fiscal year ’17.
The Economy for Everyone Amendment also will ensure that an added $20 million will be directed to Medicaid. This amendment will reduce the Optum health contract to manage utilization of behavioral health services by $535,000 and increases direct savings for crisis stabilization. Our proposal also directs the Human Services Department to prioritize supportive housing, sexual assault services, and evidence based behavioral health interventions that are not Medicaid reimbursable.
To ensure that we are investing in our future, the Economy for Everyone Amendment will also replace the failed merit pay system of $8.5 million and replaces it with stipends for classroom teachers to offset the costs of classroom supplies and health insurance, and it removes the $100 debit or credit cards that have been issued to teachers once a year to cover their costs of classroom supplies. Our children and teachers deserve more than a $100 debit card from the Martinez Administration. It’s time to put New Mexicans first and politics aside, let’s get to work and create an economy that works for everyone – not just the wealthy few.”