Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Early childhood amendment clears first Senate hurdle

Sen. Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque

SANTA FE — A proposal to tap into New Mexico’s land grant permanent fund — and dedicate much of the new revenue to early childhood programs — made some rare progress in the Senate on Wednesday.

The proposed constitutional amendment, sponsored by Democratic Sen. Michael Padilla of Albuquerque, advanced through the Senate Rules committee on a 5-3 vote, with a few members absent. A similar measure failed in the committee last year, when everyone was present.

Nonetheless, this year’s proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 2, still faces a tough road and must clear the skeptical Senate Finance Committee before reaching the floor.

The measure would increase distributions from the permanent fund by 1.5 percentage points, from 5 percent to 6.5 percent. It could raise roughly $240 million a year, with the bulk of the money dedicated to home visiting services, pre-kindergarten programs and similar early childhood efforts.

The proposal would also need approval from New Mexico voters and Congress.

TOP |