New Mexico Governor Proposes 10% Spending Increase Amid Windfall from Oil Production

New Mexico Governor Proposes 10% Spending Increase Amid Windfall from Oil Production

In a bold move to leverage New Mexico’s oil production windfall, Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham unveiled a comprehensive budget plan for July 2024 through June 2025. The proposal outlines a nearly 10% increase in general fund spending, aiming to significantly enhance housing opportunities, childhood literacy, and health care access and support the adoption of electric vehicles. This financial blueprint, set against an economic boom fueled by robust oil and natural gas production, marks a pivotal moment for the state’s future.


New Mexico, ranked as the nation’s second-largest oil producer, is experiencing an unprecedented financial surplus thanks to the prolific Permian Basin. This region, stretching beneath southeastern New Mexico and western Texas, has become a cornerstone of the state’s economy, driving substantial revenue growth. The governor’s budget proposal seeks to harness this economic windfall to address long-standing state needs and invest in sustainable development.

Key Components of the Budget Proposal

Governor Lujan Grisham’s budget earmarks a $10.5 billion general fund, marking a $950 million increase over the current fiscal obligations. This significant uptick in spending reflects the state’s robust financial health and sets the stage for ambitious statewide initiatives.

Major Spending Areas

1. Housing

A cornerstone of the governor’s proposal is a monumental $500 million allocation toward affordable housing. This initiative includes down-payment assistance, financing for affordable housing projects, and related infrastructure developments. Additionally, a $40 million investment aims to kickstart a comprehensive statewide homelessness initiative, responding to the acute housing affordability crisis in areas like Santa Fe.

2. Education

Public education stands to receive a substantial boost, with a proposed $283 million increase that would raise total spending to nearly $4.5 billion. This investment aims to enhance specialized literacy programs and extend instructional time, amidst opposition from some legislative corners. The governor’s commitment to education also extends to early childhood, with plans to expand childcare and preschool slots, addressing critical early learning needs.

3. Health Care and Childcare

The Lujan Grisham administration is set to significantly bolster the state’s health care and childcare services. Plans include adding thousands of childcare slots for infants and toddlers and increasing support for children raised by grandparents. These measures underscore a comprehensive approach to improving New Mexico’s social services landscape.

4. Public Sector Salary Increases

Reflecting a commitment to the state’s workforce, the budget outlines a 3% salary increase for workers in executive agencies and public schools. Notably, corrections officers and state police are slated for even more substantial raises, acknowledging their critical roles in public safety.

Legislative Process and Challenges

The budget proposal enters a complex legislative arena, where it will contend with alternative spending plans from the Democratic-led Legislature. Governor Lujan Grisham wields veto power over budget provisions, setting the stage for intricate negotiations. Republican opposition, particularly regarding the expansion of public school calendars, highlights the broader debates that will shape the final budget.

Accountability and Future Projections

Governor Lujan Grisham’s proposal is rooted in a philosophy of fiscal responsibility and accountability. Despite the current economic prosperity, the administration remains cautious, with state economists predicting a gradual slowdown in income growth. This prudence ensures that New Mexico is well-positioned to sustain its investments and maintain financial health in the long term.

Incentives for Electric Vehicle Adoption

A forward-looking component of the budget is the allocation for tax incentives aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs). This initiative aligns with New Mexico’s environmental goals and addresses the affordability of EVs in a state grappling with high poverty rates. New Mexico is positioning itself at the forefront of sustainable development by incentivizing low-pollution transportation.


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s budget proposal represents a strategic investment in New Mexico’s future, capitalizing on the state’s current economic boom to address critical needs and foster long-term growth.

The plan lays the groundwork for a more prosperous, equitable, and resilient New Mexico by focusing on housing, education, health care, and sustainable transportation. As the legislative process unfolds, the state stands on the cusp of transformative change, driven by a visionary approach to leveraging its oil windfall for the greater good.