Political News

New Mexico won't tap permanent fund for early education

Posted March 15

— 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.

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