House GOP Budget Passes Floor, Corporations Keep Benefits at Expense of Everyday New Mexicans
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Under House budget, programs cut to protect kids from online predators and provide meals to seniors
Santa Fe – Today on the House floor, the House Republicans amended and passed Senate Bill 9, on a 36-32 vote. The amendment cuts vital services to protect families across-the-board by a deep 5.5%. Departments and programs cut by the amendment include: crime prevention programs such as the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, the Mediciad fraud division, meals and programs for seniors, and the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the New Mexico School for the Deaf. Due to their unwillingness to enhance revenues by asking the powerful and well-connected to pay their fair share, House Republicans committed themselves to balancing the budget on the backs of New Mexico’s most vulnerable citizens.
“My view is that we should not have been here in the first place,” stated House Democratic Leader Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe). “We should have had a balanced approach that included cuts and also revenue enhancements. This is not the way to responsibly govern. We should not be balancing the budget while only looking at one half of the ledger.”
“During this special legislative session, the only conversation that was had was about cutting critical services for everyday New Mexicans,” said Representative Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque). “This House Republican budget puts the burden on those who cannot afford it while profitable corporations continue to receive millions in corporate welfare.”
“How can I go home to my community and tell them that many of the critical services and agencies that they rely on are going to be cut, meaning even less support for those hardworking families struggling to make ends meet?” stated Javier Martinez (D-Bernalillo). “It is irresponsible to govern in this way when negotiations have been hamstrung because one side has chosen to only look at half of the possible solutions on the table,” referring to the Republican pledge to never raise more revenue under any circumstances.
“My top concern is that this amendment continues to build a budget off of non-recurring dollars,” stated Representative Patricia Lundstrom (D-McKinley). “I was very clear on this point last session, and I will be clear about it again this special session: without revenue enhancements, we have no real money coming in and our state budget might as well be a shell game.”
The House Republican amendment to SB 9, cuts state departments across the board by 5.5% and 5% for colleges and universities. Senate Bill 9 as amended, will now move over to the Senate for deliberation over concurrence expected tomorrow.