A new bill proposed by Senator Martin Heinrich today seeks to provide a pathway for states like New Mexico to transition away from oil and gas reliance while still maintaining a stable revenue stream. the proposed Schools and State Budgets Certainty Act would provide “a predictable transition for states, counties, and tribes and give those governments time to transition their budgets to more sustainable and reliable sources of revenue,” according to Heinrich’s office.
“The bill sets a baseline mineral revenue amount for each fiscal year based on a historical average of federal mineral revenue, declining by 5 percent each year,” a news release states. “If the regular mineral revenue payment to a state, county, or tribe would fall below the baseline amount for that year, an ‘energy transition payment’ would be provided to make up the difference between the actual mineral payment and the calculated baseline.”
The bill seeks to address New Mexico’s particular budgetary reliance on fossil fuel and other extractive industries for the lion’s share of state funding, as well as states like Wyoming and Alaska. The bill faces long odds for passing in both the Senate and House, but indicates that New Mexico’s congressional delegation is seeing the writing on the wall and making a plan for the coming budget shortfalls. “The global energy landscape is undergoing a massive transformation, and states like New Mexico need to be ready,” Heinrich said in a statement provided to The New Mexican. Click HERE to read more.