Democratic Senators Act with Republicans
To Kill Childhood Education Bill
Governor Acts to Revive Bill

House Joint Resolution 1 would ask voters to amend the state constitution to take an additional 1 percent of the nearly $18 billion land grant permanent fund each year and earmark the it for early childhood education. 

On March 4, 2019, Democratic State Senators Clemente Sanchez of Grants, Mary Kay Papen of Las Cruces, and Bill Tallman of Albuquerque voted with Republicans of the Senate Rules Committee to table the Bill, effectively killing it.

In response to Democratic lawmakers acting to kill the possibility of early childhood education funding, J.D. Mathews, Congressional District 1 Vice Chair, DPNM stated: 

“I stand with the Adelante Progressive Caucus in holding elected officials accountable to the core values of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. Opposing HJR1 on early childhood education funding contradicts what the Democratic party is supposed to stand for and is the sadly only the latest disappointment. I hope legislators will hear their constituents who voted in 2018 for a bold agenda that deserves to be passed and not walled off and blocked. There is still opportunity before the session ends. Thank you to the other legislators standing up for what is right.”

Senator Bill Tallman defended his move to table the bill by stating that, while he does support early childhood education, he does not believe it is fiscally responsible to finance it in the manner set forth in HJR1.

Within hours of the tabling of the bill, Governor Lujan-Grisham offered up an alternative, proposing to take half as much money and designate it for pre-kindergarten, with a separate provision she argued should assuage the concerns of fiscal conservatives concerned about depleting the fund.
In an extraordinary move today, the Governor testified before the Senate Education Committee to urge them to pass her alternative bill. The bill passed the Senate Education Committee, 6-3. All Democrats voted in favor of the bill; all Republicans voted against it.

We hope that Democratic legislators will choose to invest in the future of our children in this state with a small percentage of the interest from the permanent fund in upcoming votes.

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