Martinez approves budget

Gov. Susana Martinez signed a $6.2 billion state budget into law on Thursday afternoon, with a 1.3 percent spending increase over the previous year’s budget. Martinez praised the budget as responsible and one that invests in job growth. “By keeping our finances in order and ensuring that our budget grows in a stable and reasonable manner, we’re able to move New Mexico forward by growing our economy, keeping our families and children safe, and putting more dollars into the classroom than ever before,” Martinez said in a written statement. In an executive message, Martinez lauded efforts by lawmakers to invest funds to help grow jobs in the private sector. “These are critical dollars that will help us diversify our economy and decrease our reliance on federal spending, which has disproportionately hurt our state.”
The governor said she was happy to see many of the education reforms she pushed for funded through the budget.

Could a “Closing Fund” Consensus Come to the NM Capital?

While Democrats and Republicans in D.C. and New Mexico seem to be growing farther and farther apart on many issues, there is at least one economic proposal on the table in our state that may become a beacon of compromise. Closing funds are pools of discretionary public money that help provide incentives for new or existing businesses to re-locate to a state, make infrastructure investments, or expand operations. Late last year, the Legislature’s bi-partisan Interim Jobs Council recommended tripling the amount of money in New Mexico’s closing fund. Governor Susana Martinez also supports increasing the amount of money in the state’s closing fund, calling the fund “a critical tool in helping diversify our economy, grow the private sector and better compete for jobs.”

You read that correctly. There’s true bi-partisan support in New Mexico for an economic development initiative.