New Mexico won't tap permanent fund for early education
Posted March 15
SANTA FE, N.M. — A Senate panel in New Mexico has voted down a constitutional amendment to boost spending on early childhood education with money from a state sovereign wealth fund.
The Senate Rules Committee tabled the initiative Wednesday on a 6-5 vote, ending chances for approval this year.
The Democrat-sponsored amendment would have increase annual withdrawals from the state's $15 billion Land Grant Permanent Fund by 1 percentage point to fund education programs for children ages 0-5.
Democratic Sens. Mary Kay Papen and Clemente Sanchez joined Republicans in opposition.
Critics say the plan risked drawing too much money each year from a fund seen as a trust for future generations.
The fund receives royalties from oil and natural gas production on state trust land, while distributions benefit public schools and hospitals.