January 25, 2021

Governor to deliver remote State of the State on Tuesday

Kendra Chamberlain

Michelle Lujan Grisham during the her 2020 State of the State address.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is scheduled to deliver her State of the State address online Tuesday afternoon from her office in the Capitol, a week after COVID-19 concerns and tightened security surrounding the Roundhouse forced a postponement.

The address will be devoid of the usual pomp and circumstance that usually comes on the first day of the legislative session. In normal times, the governor’s speech is attended by political leaders, legislators, friends and others. 

Governor’s Office spokeswoman Nora Meyers Sackett  said the address will touch on “the initiatives and policies the governor supports for a better future for New Mexico.”

It’s expected the governor will outline her thoughts on key issues during the session, including drawing money from the Land Grant Permanent Fund for early childhood education programming, legalizing the use of recreational cannabis and repealing a decades-old law making it a crime to perform an abortion. 

It’s also likely the governor will use the event to talk about relief bills for those hit hardest by the pandemic.

On Monday, the governor’s office announced a proposed legislative initiative to utilize unused funds put aside by the State Investment Council and the New Mexico Finance Authority for the Small Business Recovery Loan Fund. 

House Bill 11, introduced by Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, would convert that money into grants to help businesses dealing with  revenue loss. The money would be tied to specific hiring benchmarks — each new full-time employee would qualify the business for $5,000, up to a cap of $100,000.