House Democrats Restore Damaging Veto of Higher ed Funding and Pass Responsible Revenue Package
After Failed Partisan Override, House Democrats Restore Funds Vetoed by Governor of All Higher Education Funding and Pass Revenue Package to Put New Mexico on a Solid Financial Ground
Santa Fe, NM –Tonight, the House passed House Bills 1, and 2, restore funds vetoed by the Governor to higher education, UNM’s Cancer Center and other critical services for our state’s most vulnerable. House Bill 1, a general budget bill, passed in a 46-20 bipartisan vote, and restored all vetoed funding from 2017’s first session and included an additional $1 million for student financial aid, and $1 million to the UNM Cancer Center. House Bill 2, a revenue package that raises recurring revenue by $117.4 million in Fiscal Year 18 through the closure of tax loopholes also creates a state rainy day fund in case of another decline in the price of oil and gas. HB 2 passed the House on a party line vote of 37-29.
“House Bill 1 is a critical measure to restore stability back to the state,” said Rep. Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup). “Restoring the higher education system is vital to moving our state forward, and the legislative branch has moved swiftly to ensure New Mexican families that they will be able to send their kids to school next fall.”
“New Mexicans including myself want their children to be able to go to college in state,” said Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales). “But because of a lack of opportunity, jobs and now uncertainty created by the Governor’s vetoes, it makes it even more difficult for our kids to make a secure future in our state. It would’ve been nice to have funding restored by an override, because that would have happened immediately, but this is the next best thing.”
“Our state needs revenue, not more cuts,” said Rep. and Chairmen of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee Jim Trujillo (D-Santa Fe). “The revenue package passed in the House does two things: it raises much needed recurring revenue that restores our reserves, and it closes loopholes to improve our revenue outlook – all are measures that the Governor has expressed interest in.”
Program funding also restored by the passage of House Bill 1, includes: $1 million for pediatric oncology, $5 million for the Carrie Tingley Hospital, more than $3 million for UNM’s newborn intensive care unit, $6.6 million for the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital and nearly $2.5 million for the UNM Cancer Center. House Bill 2 includes changing GRT to include internet sales, levels the playing field for healthcare taxes by closing existing loopholes, and eliminates unnecessary fixed monthly distributions to the Legislative Retirement Fund.