6 takeaways from the State of the State: 'Enthusiastic, ambitious and ready'
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke before members of the State House of Representatives and Senate on Tuesday in Santa Fe.
In her first State of the State address Lujan Grisham said civility and bipartisanship will be an important aspect to a successful legislative session.
She described the state as "enthusiastic, ambitious and ready" to move forward with policies that separate it from the previous Republican administration of Susana Martinez.
"We're going to remind New Mexico what it looks like when a government and lawmakers commit to working together, to working through our differences and the challenges we have with open hearts and open minds, and with understanding for the person sitting across the table and across the aisle," Lujan Grisham said in the address.
"Together we can and will show New Mexico and this country what good government looks like."
Among the topics covered by Lujan Grisham were education, law enforcement, the economy and abortion.
Here are six takeaways from her speech that could impact Southeast New Mexico.
Lujan Grisham pledged half a billion dollar investment for teachers and classrooms throughout the state that once ranked 49th in the nation for education.
"The transformation starts on the front lines, in our schools, in each and every classroom," she said.
To address low teacher salaries, she pledged to raise salaries by 6 percent across the board.
That includes a minimum salary raise for every level of educators by at least 10 percent. An additional $5 million would be set aside for classroom supplies.
Also in the State of the State
- $60 million investment for Pre-K
- 200 percent increase in Indian Education Fund
- Elimination of PARCC and "high-stakes" testing in New Mexico
- Safe schools and public spaces
Crime, drug addiction and mental health
"We are going to be tough on the worst criminals smart about investments and priorities and never stop fighting to make our communities safe," Lujan Grisham said.
She pledged to boost prevention programs throughout the state, including access to overdose reversal drugs.
Lujan Grisham said that enhancement of addiction treatment services, including mental health services, is essential to fight the epidemic of crime and drug addiction.
She said her administration will rebuild the mental health system in the state "brick by brick" this session.
The governor said she hoped to create a "broader economy" based on more than a single industry - oil and gas - in her address.
"Let's show that New Mexico is more than one industry," she said.
She pledged a $10 minimum wage "now," and $12 minimum wage "soon" to replace the state's current $7.50 minimum wage.
That includes equal pay for women, a raise for state employees and the exploration of private/public partnerships.
- Double LEDA
- Boost homegrown small businesses
- Support film and television industry
"We have a chance to transform our infrastructure to promote and leverage economic development while we address community needs," Lujan Grisham said.
She said investments to infrastructure in rural areas would ensure safety and help achieve the goal of economic diversity.
The State will soon have an outdoor recreation coordinator, Lujan Grisham said, to help promote the natural beauty and bounty of the state.
"By boosting tourism and marketing campaigns we show more of the world how beautiful our state is and how badly they need to come visit," Lujan Grisham said.
Part of that effort includes preservation, and the governor promised that an executive order is pending for comprehensive climate plan that responds to a warming planet via carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases.
Lujan Grisham promised a to increase the state's renewable energy portfolio by 50 percent by 2030 and 80 percent in the decade that follows.
"I ask you to fulfill that commitment with me not as a ceiling but as a starting point," she said.
She said New Mexico can harness its sun and wind to boost the economy, create jobs and aide in conservation.
- Remove the criminal abortion law: " Bring me that bill and I will sign it," she said.
- Rocket docket: "These are bills which so many of you bipartisan work so hard on in the recent past," she said.
- 100 new positions to child protective services
- Ensure more veterans are hired by State agencies and departments
Jessica Onsurez can be reached at 575-628-5531, email@example.com or @JussGREAT on Twitter.