Overview of the bills of the next legislative sessions

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – The 2022 legislative session in New Mexico is just a few weeks away and lawmakers are already busy preparing for the bigger topics that could arise. Many already have an idea of ​​things they would like to see addressed, such as public safety and economic recovery from a pandemic.

“First and foremost this is a budget session, so we are looking at record revenues for the state, both from gross state revenue taxes and federal funding,” said Representative Javier Martinez, a Democrat who also serves as the majority floor. Leader. “Much of this funding will go to critical infrastructure projects across the state – bridges, roads, senior centers, public libraries, schools. “

However, some other lawmakers have different ideas for the money. Republican Senator Crystal Diamond, who serves much of southern New Mexico, wants to make sure that a good chunk of that extra money is also saved, rather than spent.

“Much of the money New Mexico sees in this session is one-time money, so it is important that a large chunk of that money is invested in building healthy reserves to build up the bank account. ‘New Mexico savings,’ Diamond said. “This is our year to go out there and make real, lasting change with our fiscal policies.”

Diamond says one of his agendas this session is also to introduce tax reform. She cited the governor’s GRT tax as insufficient for the state.

“We need to remove Social Security taxes,” Diamond said. “We need to eliminate military pension taxes here in New Mexico.”

Another area planned for this session is improving broadband in rural areas. Lawmakers say they would also like to increase access to affordable child care.

“We know too many New Mexicans are struggling to care for their children, it’s still expensive,” Martinez said. “These are essential services that can ensure parents can return to work, parents can start opening their businesses again, parents can start participating in the economy again. but all of these things require immediate attention.

Meanwhile, an issue that seems to be on the agenda for both sides is public safety and the drivers of crime like drug use and poverty. “We are considering reforms to our pre-trial detention programs, so that offenders, especially the most violent, can be held accountable and our communities are protected,” Martinez said.

While this session will return in person for lawmakers, the public will still be able to join at home, via Zoom. The 30-day session will begin on January 18 at noon and end in mid-February.

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