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Senate OKs bill for extra investment in NM businesses

A sculpture of writer D.H. Lawrence stands outside the Capitol.(Eddie Moore/ Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — The state could invest more in New Mexico-based companies under legislation that won approval 30-9 in the state Senate.

The legislation, Senate Bill 136, would allow for up to 11% of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund to be invested in New Mexico private equity funds, businesses and startups. The current cap is 9%.

The change would boost the capacity by $113 million.

Supporters say the bill would support home-grown businesses and help diversify the state economy, all while adhering to prudent investment principles.

Opponents said local investments have historically underperformed the broader market and that the state should just focus on generating market-rate returns.

The bill was sponsored by Democratic Sen. Pete Campos of Las Vegas and supported by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

“This money comes from land all over the state, funds that we want to be able to invest back in New Mexico businesses,” Lujan Grisham said in a written statement.

The legislation still requires House approval.

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