Billion Dollar Surplus Not Enough as House Democrats Want More

Santa Fe – Despite inheriting a surplus of over $1 billion, House Democrats approved a measure to swipe an additional $750 million over five years. In another late Friday night vote, House Democrats voted 41-27 to raid New Mexico’s Permanent Education Fund. Additionally, House Joint Resolution 1 (HJR 1) does not have a deadline for siphoning the additional dollars meaning the permanent fund raid will be permanent. House Democrats argue funds from the raid are needed for early childhood education yet they also support a proposal to give $300 million to Hollywood corporations.

“If we really believe that children are important, we should spend money on them now and not send it to Hollywood,” said Rep. Jim Townsend (R-Artesia). “We have to make the decision to spend our money on what we truly believe and not on the wrong priorities.”

Currently, HJR 1 does not disclose how the additional dollars will be spent. If approved by the legislature, HJR 1 will go to the voters with no plan. If approved by voters, a future legislature will determine the details of the spending.

“The most brilliant thing a past legislature ever did was decide not to spend every tax payer dollar so we can have these funds for our children today,” said Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho). “We would be wise to learn the same lesson and not kill the goose that lays golden eggs.”