Lujan Grisham proposes a four % elevate for workers and a $750 rebate for taxpayers

Jan. 10 – All state government and public school employees in New Mexico would receive a 4 percent pay rise and all taxpayers would receive a $750 rebate through July, per Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s fiscal 2024 budget recommendation.

The governor’s $9.4 billion spending plan unveiled Tuesday represents a nearly 12 percent increase from the current fiscal year.

The proposed budget includes funding for a long list of programs, projects and initiatives, from $220 million to add two weeks to classroom study time to $2.2 million to create and cast two elite hotshots -Crews to fight forest fires. The budget also recommends $107 million for housing and homelessness initiatives, a $200 million allocation to a fund to improve and improve access to health care in rural New Mexico, and $30 million to eliminate school meal costs for every student in the state.

“This Executive Budget Recommendation sets out the priorities that matter most to all of us — education and well-being, housing and homelessness, public safety, accessible and affordable health care, and putting more money in the pockets of New Mexicans,” the governor wrote in an open letter to local residents.

In addition to a 4 percent pay rise for all school staff, the governor is proposing to cover the cost of all educators’ health insurance benefits.

“Last year I was incredibly proud to deliver the biggest pay rises ever to New Mexico teachers, making our educators the highest-paid in the region,” the governor wrote, adding that 350 additional teachers will join the ranks in the fall have joined throughout the state.

“We will continue to work to ensure our salaries remain competitive with surrounding states, and our teachers will be compensated for the incredible work they do every day to create a brighter future for our children,” she wrote. “As such, I propose to fully subsidize health care services for educators to make New Mexico an ever better place to live and teach.”

This is an evolving story. Stay tuned for updates.

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

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