NM House Republicans Kill Bill to Fund Early Childhood Education

Senate Joint Resolution 4, sponsored by Senator Tim Keller (D-Bernalillo-17) was killed by House Republicans on the House floor yesterday evening on a 34 to 32 vote. SJR4 is a constitutional amendment, and required 36 votes to pass.
Republicans successfully killed the bill that funds early childhood education.

The bill, as amended ensured solvency for the Land Grant Fund, fixed the sunset to continue funding for early education, and ensured sound fiscal management by the SIC.

The amendment to the Senate Joint Resolution 4 did the following:

  • Ensuring Land Grant Permanent Fund always has a minimum balance of $10 billion dollars, up from the current $8.5 billion.
  • The amendment would allow the current 5.5% of the fund to be distributed for the purposes of education. Without the amendment, only 5.0% of the fund will be distributed starting in 2016. This means that approximately, $60 to $80 million will not be provided to our schools.
  • In order to ensure sound fiscal management of the distribution, the amendment allowed the financial experts at the SIC to make the .5% distribution based upon performance of the market. Essentially giving the SIC fiscal responsibility over the fund.

“First they vote against working New Mexico families, and an hour later they vote against early education funding, what are the House Republicans priorities this session, it sure doesn’t; seem to be the New Mexico working families,” said Rep. Bill McCamley (D-Doña Ana-33).