DPNM: Governor Martinez’s Line on Permanent Fund Shortsighted

New Mexico – The Democratic Party of New Mexico slammed Governor Martinez after she ruled out using the permanent fund to invest in New Mexico’s economy. 

“Governor Martinez clearly doesn’t have the best interest of New Mexicans in mind when she actively works against solutions that could help create opportunities for families in our state,” said Juan Sanchez III, Vice Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “Governor Martinez’s line on the permanent fund is shortsighted, and not a productive step for New Mexico.”

New Mexico’s more than $20 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund currently funds schools and higher education institutions. Proposals by some Democrats advocate for increasing the percentage taken from the fund to invest in early childhood education, a service that would benefit New Mexico families while building longterm avenues for success for our children–New Mexico currently ranks 50th in education according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids Count Data Report.

Under Governor Martinez, New Mexico faces an approximate $100 million budget shortfall going into the 2017 legislative session, recently underwent a credit downgrade from Moody’s Investor Services, and continues to suffer from a 6.7 percent unemployment rate. 

Governor Martinez has a history of ruling out measures that could help address New Mexico’s economic woes, including revenue increases. She has decidedly opted to cut services many New Mexicans rely on instead of invest in our state.

“New Mexico can’t cut our way to success,” Vice Chair Juan Sanchez III continued. “Governor Martinez’s irresponsible decisions during her tenure as governor have put New Mexico in this mess and now she’s refusing to address her failed Republican economic agenda.”

During a special session Senate Democrats worked diligently to address a $223 million shortfall for FY2016 and an estimated shortfall of $431 million for FY2017 while House Republicans wasted taxpayer dollars to push Governor Martinez’s political priorities.

Though the legislature passed measures to address the budget, Governor Martinez vetoed spending cuts, which contribute to the current shortfall the state currently faces. 

Governor Martinez wasted six years fighting partisan battles against our immigrant communities, behavioral health care providers, and New Mexico workers. The Governor was able to do much more damage with a Republican majority in the New Mexico House, and the end result was the largest budget shortfall the state has ever faced.