House Committee Approves FY17 Budget
Santa Fe, NM – The House Appropriations and Finance Committee passed House Bill 2 this afternoon by a vote 12 to 5. The bill authorizes funding for fiscal year 2017 state operations and set state agency spending levels.
“Given the decline in revenue due to the drop in oil prices, we had to carefully prioritize our spending decisions,” Rep. Larry Larrañaga, chairman of House Appropriations and Finance Committee, said. “This is a responsible budget. It maintains funding for important public services and addresses critical needs in the areas of public safety, education and economic development.”
The appropriations bill would add $38.5 million to meet the state’s Medicaid needs. It also would increase public education funding by $31.2 million and provides $7.3 million for key early childhood programs, including $3 million for prekindergarten. It allocates a $2 million increase for K-3 Plus, pre-K and early reading programs.
The bill sets aside an additional $12.1 million to the Department of Corrections and $5.1 million to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to assist in the recruitment and retention of officers. DPS would also receive $1.2 million to process the existing backlog of untested rape kits in the state and $600,000 to establish a centralized database for criminal records.
The Department of Children, Youth and Families would receive an increase of $6.1 million to support its protective services program and to hire more social workers.
The Department of Economic Development would receive a total of $8 million to support the Job Training Incentive Program, and it authorizes $1.25 million for the creation of a rapid workforce development program within the Department of Workforce Solutions.
The committee also passed legislation allowing for the transfer of unspent funds within state agencies on a 13-4 vote. The bills will be considered by the full House of Representatives later this week.
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