New Mexico March 2020
Legislative Session accomplishments.
The 2020 New Mexico Legislative Session saw 914 pieces of legislation being introduced and 54 reaching the Governor’s desk. Key topics of the session were the state budget for the 2021 Fiscal year, education, healthcare, renewable energy, gun control and legalization of recreational cannabis.
The oil booming allowed New Mexico to stack $800 million of new revenue, which contributed into a bigger budget. In fact, set as $7.6 billion, the 2021 Fiscal Year budget is the biggest in history for the state. Around half of the budget will go towards public education, with pay raise for most teachers, a fund for early childhood education programs and for the Opportunity Scholarship, which will make two-year college programs tuition-free for New Mexico residents. The rest of the budget will be divided between health and human services for the state, especially for substance use disorders, public safety, with funding for new police officers, and investments in roads and infrastructure, which aim to continue last year’s investments in economic development.
Lawmakers passed a bill that would limit insulin’s co-payment to $25 dollars, which would be the lowest in the whole country.
Support for renewable and alternative energy has been shown by passing of bills that would provide tax credits for purchases of electric vehicles and solar thermal systems, along with investments in renewable energy projects.
The public reacted for and against the passing of the red-flag gun law, which allows district courts to order the temporary surrender of firearm from people who seem to be dangerous to others or themselves.
Before the beginning of the legislation, one of the most awaited discussion was the legalization of recreational marijuana; however, the bill stalled in the Senate. The Governor reported that she will try to push the legislation next session, which is set for January 18th, 2021.