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Amendments for safety funding clear first hurdle

Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales

SANTA FE — Two proposals that would withdraw money from New Mexico’s permanent funds to pay for public safety and behavioral health programs are advancing through the state House.

The measures, sponsored by Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, would make about $103 million a year available to help address crime.

“We can’t wait,” Ely said. “This is a crisis, and it’s a crisis we have to address now.”

His proposals, House Joint Resolutions 2 and 3, won approval on a 3-2 party-line vote in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday. They must clear two more committees before reaching the House floor.

The proposed constitutional amendments would have to win approval from voters.

Opponents said the land grant and severance tax permanent funds aren’t the right place to get the money.