Why NM Legislators Should Vote for HJR 1
Summary: Introduced by Reps. Moe Maestes and Javier Martinez, this joint resolution would, if approved by voters in a statewide referendum, change the state constitution to require the Land Grant Permanent Fund (LGPF) to provide additional yearly distributions of 1% to early childhood educational (ECE) services (nonsectarian and nondenominational). This 1% would increase the current distribution of 5% to 6%, a conservative amount.
History: In 2017, the House passed this bill 37:32; Senate Rules Committee voted 6:5 to table it. In 2018, it died in Senate Finance, after passing the House 36:33 and the Senate Education Committee. In 2019, it passed the House 41:27 but died in Senate Rules, tabled by a 7:4 vote with Sens. Papen, Sanchez, and Tallman voting with Republican to kill it. A replacement bill, SB 671, which increased the distribution by ½% instead of 1% died in Senate Finance without a hearing.
Why This Bill Is Good for NM
- Large numbers of NM parents cannot provide the enrichment their young children need to succeed in kindergarten and elementary school due to poverty, language issues, time constraints, and poor parental education.
- Current research indicates that pre-K provides that enrichment and thus better outcomes for children when they move to kindergarten, elementary, and high school.
- Better educated children are more likely to graduate high school, pursue higher education, avoid drugs and criminal activity, and become productive citizens.
- Better educated students become better prepared employees and entrepreneurs, and thus advance our state’s economy.
- Currently only some districts provide pre-K; this bill would allow all districts to provide it.
- The additional money could fund high-quality home visiting, childcare assistance, as well as pre-K, supporting the early and most formative years of 0-3.
- New Mexico has the largest Land Grant Permanent Fund at more than $17billion. It was intended to fund education. It is not a ‘rainy day’ fund or a retirement fund.
- The Albuquerque Journal reported that 81% of New Mexicans approve of using the Land Grant Permanent Fund to fund Pre-K education.
- The 1% increase is a modest portion of the overall Fund.
- It would create 4,000 jobs over 4 years, primarily filled by women in rural areas.
Supporting Organizations in 2019 (assuming they support HJR 1 in 2020 as well) Include:
Catholic Archbishops of NM
Invest in Kids Now
NM Voices for Children
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Center for Law and Poverty
Catholic Health Initiatives
Southwest Organizing Project
NM Conference of Catholic Bishops
Center for Civic Policy
Olé New Mexico
New Mexico Working Families
New Mexico Asian Family Center