Governor signs measure to create early childhood fund - Albuquerque Journal

Governor signs measure to create early childhood fund

Em021820f
River Mora, 2, being held by his mother, Kristin Mora, plays with Bettie Petersen, left, of the New Mexico School for the Deaf, behind Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday during a ceremony to sign a bill creating an early childhood trust fund. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

SANTA FE – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Tuesday that establishes a trust fund to help pay for expanded prekindergarten and other early childhood programs.

It will operate like an endowment – a strategy intended to provide a stable source of funding to support New Mexico’s increasing investment in home visiting programs for new parents, pre-K and similar services that prepare children for school.

A portion of the state’s oil-fueled revenue boom would flow into the fund, with the hope that it will eventually reach $1 billion, large enough to disburse perhaps $40 million to $50 million a year.

Legislators are considering separate legislation – part of the main budget bill – to inject $320 million into the fund next year.

Lujan Grisham described the legislation, House Bill 83, as a breakthrough in efforts to expand funding for early childhood education.

“It is not business as usual in the Legislature,” she said. “This is creative problem-solving.”

The proposal for a trust fund emerged after years of attempts at Senate approval for a constitutional amendment that would allow New Mexico to tap more heavily into its Land Grant Permanent Fund as a source of early childhood funding.

The proposed constitutional amendment, meanwhile, is still alive this session, although its future is uncertain. The legislation, House Joint Resolution 1, is awaiting action by the Senate Finance Committee.

The trust fund, in any case, is meant to complement the constitutional proposal, not necessarily replace it, supporters say.

The early childhood trust fund picked up bipartisan support this session, even from lawmakers who oppose the constitutional amendment.

For example, Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Deming Democrat and chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, said the trust fund idea is a sound way to expand New Mexico’s early childhood spending. He has opposed the constitutional amendment.

“We’re going to make it work,” he said of the new trust fund.

Lujan Grisham signed the bill Tuesday, surrounded by parents and legislators. The legislation was co-sponsored by Smith and House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos, D-Las Cruces.

“The children of New Mexico deserve a trust fund,” Gallegos said.

Under the legislation, energy-related tax revenue – if it climbs high enough, creating a surplus – will flow into the new fund.

Even without the trust fund, New Mexico has been ramping up spending on early childhood, to more than $500 million in the current fiscal year.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » Governor signs measure to create early childhood fund

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Untangling the policies and politics of New Mexico's medical ...
ABQnews Seeker
Legislature looking at changes to 2021 ... Legislature looking at changes to 2021 law designed to help doctors
2
Gov't transparency organization adds new members
ABQnews Seeker
Two local journalists join the New ... Two local journalists join the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government's board
3
Bill seeks to stanch rise of organized retail crime
ABQnews Seeker
'We can’t operate like this,' business ... 'We can’t operate like this,' business owner, robbery victim says. 'People have just had it.'
4
A New Mexico deputy education secretary has resigned. She ...
ABQnews Seeker
Jacquelyn Archuleta-Staehlin steps down a week ... Jacquelyn Archuleta-Staehlin steps down a week after the PED announced her appointment, and amid questions about whether she was a good fit
5
As New Mexico mandates state workers go back to ...
ABQnews Seeker
About two-thirds of the state's nearly ... About two-thirds of the state's nearly 17,000 rank-and-file employees were already back in the office full-time as of the start of this year.
6
Alec Baldwin and armorer charged with involuntary manslaughter in ...
ABQnews Seeker
Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told authorities Alec Baldwin ... Hannah Gutierrez-Reed told authorities Alec Baldwin had failed to attend required firearms training during the filming of “Rust,” so she had requested an hourlong ...
7
New Mexico bill would ban contracts for migration detention
ABQnews Seeker
Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual ... Recently introduced bill could unwind contractual arrangements at Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral
8
Native American leaders: Educational trust fund will be key
ABQnews Seeker
Native American leaders said creating a ... Native American leaders said creating a special $50 million trust fund to help finance educational p ...
9
New NM health secretary learning on the job after ...
ABQnews Seeker
Patrick Allen heads a key agency ... Patrick Allen heads a key agency on the front lines of the state’s pandemic response, after leaving behind a lengthy state government career in ...