The highly contentious bill to further tap into the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) passed the House and Senate after years of failed attempts. HJR 1 Permanent Fund for Early Childhood, as the bill is officially named, is more than just an average House bill – it’s also a constitutional amendment for NM. This means that while lawmakers and the Governor are pleased with the final outcome of the bill, the final say on this must be put to voters in the next election. So, the constitutional amendment for HJR1 will be included on the 2022 ballot. But what comes after its potential approval is still yet to be determined and that should be very concerning to voters.
As it was passed by lawmakers, the bill specifies that the additional funds to be pulled for the LGPF will be used for “enhanced instruction for students at risk of failure, extending the school year, teacher compensation, and early childhood education…” But how those dollars will be spent is still up for much debate. If the amendment passes it will be up to legislators and the Governor to decide how it’s spent. NMBC has always been an opponent of dipping further into the LGPF and would rather legislators focus on better results with the large amounts of money we are already spending for dreadful results. Coming to voters and asking to further plunder the permanent fund without a solid plan on how it will be spend it a recipe for disaster and wasted funds at a time when we have few to spare. Click HERE to read more.