Proposal Gives Raises to Teachers, Provides Rebates to New Mexicans and Balances the Budget Without Raising Taxes

Santa Fe – House Republicans introduced their budget proposal with pay raises for teachers, rebates for taxpayers and no tax increases on Wednesday. In contrast to House Democrats plan to recklessly increase spending by 11%, the House Republican plan accomplishes the goal of putting New Mexico first by responsibly increasing spending by 5%. The Republican Plan still delivers identical raises for New Mexico’s teachers while also increasing funding for at-risk students and more funding for Pre-K without raiding the permanent fund.

Key Components of House Republican Budget Proposal

Rebate for New Mexico Taxpayers – Instead of sending $150 million of New Mexico’s budget surplus to Hollywood Corporations, the House Republican plan calls for a $200 rebate to every single New Mexican. The Republicans proposal calls for $400 million to return money back to New Mexico’s families.

“This huge budget surplus is the result of hard working New Mexican families and they should be the first to benefit,” said Rep. Jason Harper (R-Rio Rancho). “Sending money from New Mexico’s families out of state not only hurts our economy, but it sends the message that New Mexico’s families don’t matter as much as Hollywood corporations.”

Raises for New Mexico’s Educators and Increased At-Risk Funding – House Republicans propose more than $208 million for educator raises and increased student support. Education spending in the proposal includes:

·       $165 million to provide a 6 percent pay increase for all teachers, principals and school employees – and provides new pay minimums for teachers of $41,000, $50,000 and $60,000 respectively.

·       $25 million increased spending on New Mexico’s at-risk students

·       $8.5 million to increase contributions to ERB

·       $8.5 million for Impact Aid support

“It doesn’t matter how much money we pour into the school day if we don’t address what’s happening to our most at-risk students outside the school,” said Rep. Rebecca Dow (R-Truth or Consequences). “Our budget provides funds to the Department of Health and CYFD to address the needs of families outside the school day while still providing critical raises to educators and staff.”

Increase Funding for New Mexico’s Roads – The House Republican plan sets aside $400 million to repair New Mexico’s roads and infrastructure. Specifically, the plan calls for projects all around New Mexico, including rural areas.

“For so many of our communities, a good economy relies on good infrastructure,” said Rep. Jim Townsend (R-Artesia). “New Mexico’s roads, particularly in rural areas, are in need of repair and this investment will not only build infrastructure, but a stronger economy.

Increasing General Fund Reserves – The House Republican proposal also includes $228 million placed into reserves and protect against difficult budget years ahead. This will establish reserves at 25% of the state budget.

No Tax Increases – The House Republican Proposal makes targeted investments to improve the lives of all New Mexicans without raising any taxes.

“It doesn’t help New Mexico’s working families, especially our teachers, to get a raise only to see it disappear to Democrats tax increases,” said Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington). “We want to replace money swept away from our school districts and increase funding in a way that is sustainable for years to come. If Democrats are serious about diversifying our economy, they need to let New Mexicans keep more of their money.”