Our Legislative Policy Priorities

2023 Regular Legislative Session

  • Download our policy priorities (Dec. 2022; 2 pages; pdf)
  • Download our tax policy priorities (Nov. 2022; 2 pages; pdf)
  • NOTE: Links in the bullet points below will take you to our fact sheet, policy brief, or report on the issue

New Mexico’s elected officials have an extraordinary opportunity to advance the well-being of all of our children, families, and communities during the 2023 legislative session. A historic revenue surplus – if combined with new, more reliable revenue streams – would allow for greater investments in programs and services that will improve family economic security, make health care more affordable, and expand and improve a birth-to-career education system that helps our children succeed. Attention to equity should be at the center of all policy improvements. New Mexico should move forward with an eye towards how we transform our budget and policy systems so they are fair, equitable, accessible, and built on a more diverse and stable revenue system that will ensure the programs that matter most for kids, families, and our economy are robustly supported now and in the future. For more information on how the legislative sessions work, please see our state budget guide. To find out how you can get involved in the process on issues that matter to you, please see our legislative advocacy guide.

Our 2023 Legislative priorities include:

Tax Policy

  • Increase the Child Tax Credit – Enacted in 2022, the state’s Child Tax Credit improves tax equity. It should be increased to $400-$600 per child for families making less than $50,000.
  • Diversify and stabilize state revenues – Current revenue sources should be protected by opposing tax cuts that do not directly support equity or adequacy in the tax code, including:
    • Oppose GRT anti-pyramiding – Lowering the GRT rate is preferable to reducing pyramiding. A rate cut benefits families as well as businesses and avoids picking winners and losers in the tax code. Anti-pyramiding is directly contrary to the Legislature’s goal of broadening the base and lowering the rate. Any GRT rate cut should have a circuit breaker similar to the 2022 tax legislation in case future revenues fall.
    • Repeal ineffective GRT tax breaks to broaden the base and pay for a lowering of the rate.
  • Raise revenue from new sources, including:
    • Repeal the capital gains deduction – New Mexico is one of only nine states to tax income from capital gains at a lower rate than the wages of hard working people. Currently, New Mexico allows 40% of this unearned income to be deducted from income taxes, making this an unnecessary and unfair tax break that overwhelmingly helps the wealthiest while making revenue unavailable for much-needed public investment. Note: HB 291 in 2021 passed out of the House and passed STBTC with a near-full repeal of this deduction, but this provision was amended out when the bill reached SFC.
    • Raise personal income taxes (PIT) for the state’s highest earners – In 2003, New Mexico eliminated the top three personal income tax brackets, benefiting only the highest-income earners in the state. This made our income tax system essentially flat. In 2019, legislators restored some progressivity by introducing a new bracket, but only for the highest 3% of earners. We can continue to fix our upside-down tax code, have a more sensible and gradual increase in rates, and ensure the wealthiest pay their fair share by raising rates for higher earners and introducing additional brackets at the high end of the income scale. Note: HB 291 in 2021 included increases in PIT for high earners and some restructuring of brackets at the higher ends; this was passed by STBTC but amended out when the bill reached SFC before its final passage.
    • Increase the corporate income tax (CIT) – In 2013, lawmakers significantly cut corporate income taxes. This did not lead to increased economic activity, but it did substantially reduce revenues needed for the public investments that create jobs and build a strong economy. Because of these cuts to the CIT, hardworking New Mexicans have had to bear more of the responsibility in paying for the resources and services that both businesses and people use.
    • Establish a corporate minimum tax of $500 or more – Corporations benefit from New Mexico’s land and water, roads and bridges, and public services, yet many do not pay their fair share for these public goods. In fact, large corporations can currently exploit the many loopholes that exist or claim numerous tax breaks and end up paying no income tax at all. New Mexico, at the very least, should have a flat dollar minimum tax of at least $500. Note: HB 291 in 2021 was amended by STBTC to increase CIT for businesses with net incomes over $500,000, phasing in a new top rate of 7.6% over five years. This provision was amended out when the bill reached SFC before the final passage of the bill.
    • Increase the alcohol tax and target the funds to behavioral health.
    • Increase the tobacco products tax as recommended by the TSROC to deter youth tobacco product usage.
  • General Tax Guidelines
    • Because much of the surplus should be treated as non-recurring, be prudent with all permanent or recurring tax breaks. All recurring tax cuts should be tailored and targeted to those in need and with equity principles in mind.
    • Place sunsets on tax cuts in case of future revenue downturns.
    • Consider including circuit breakers on tax cuts (as was included on the GRT cut in the 2022 tax package) so they sunset or don’t go into effect if revenue estimates decrease.

Early Childhood Care and Education

  • Protect and preserve funding streams for early childhood care and education (ECCE) services, and support the use of federal funding to build systems capacity.
  • Use Permanent Fund money to grow the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) budget, not to replace dollars from federal and other state sources.
  • Use the Early Childhood Trust Fund only to support programs that serve our youngest children.
  • Make additional investments in ECCE to support recent improvements to the child care assistance program, including increasing wages and supporting career ladders for ECCE workers, improve infant/toddler teacher pay parity, and create tribal early childhood funding streams.

Education

  • Make improvements in K-12 education including:
    • Fully fund and implement the Hispanic, Indian, Black, and Bilingual Multicultural Education Acts.
    • Significantly increase school employee salaries.
    • Increase instructional hours.
    • Continue to increase targeted funding through the “at-risk” index.
    • Expand funding for community schools and school-based health centers.
  • Make investments in higher education to:
    • Maintain and increase funding for the Opportunity Scholarship.
    • Create more flexible, need-based financial aid opportunities.
    • Invest in teacher pipeline programs.

Family Economic Security

  • Support programs to address child hunger and strengthen food security in the state.
  • Support housing security by improving rental protections and addressing housing stability in the state.
  • Make paid family medical leave available for all New Mexico workers.
  • Increase TANF cash benefits to help families meet basic needs and take steps to reduce barriers to program participation that would otherwise result in the loss of benefits.
  • Modernize the state constitution’s anti-donation clause to allow greater access to state funds for community-based services.
  • Ensure that all residents are able to access the safety net benefits they need, regardless of immigration status.

Environmental and Public Health

  • Act on environmental health and climate change
    • Require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Create a public health and climate resiliency program to improve climate adaptation and mitigation for communities threatened by extreme weather events.
    • Increase state agency budgets to ensure adequate staffing and more regulatory enforcement.
  • Invest in health care
    • Ensure full funding of Medicaid.
    • End the Medicaid Waiver waiting list for those with disabilities.
    • Improve access to affordable health care coverage through the proposed Medicaid Forward plan.
    • Make prescription drugs more affordable.
  • Enact new measures to reduce child gun deaths and improve gun safety.

Criminal Justice

  • Reduce or abolish most criminal justice fines and fees and end debt-based driver’s license suspensions, which tend to disproportionately impact economically marginalized families and families of color.

2022 Regular Legislative Session

  • Download our post-session presentation on what happened during the 2022 regular legislative session (March 2022; 28 pages; pdf)
  • Download our fact sheet on what happened during the 2022 regular legislative session (March 2022; 2 pages; pdf)
  • Download our policy priorities (Dec. 2021; 2 pages; pdf)

2021 Regular Legislative Session

  • Download our post-session presentation on what happened during the 2021 regular legislative session (April 2021; 27 pages; pdf)
  • Download our fact sheet on what happened during the 2021 regular legislative session (March 2021; 2 pages; pdf)
  • Download our policy priorities (Nov. 2020; 2 pages; pdf)

2020 Special Legislative Session

  • Download our fact sheet on what happened during the 2020 special legislative session (July 2020; 2 pages; pdf)
  • Download our policy priorities (May 2020; 2 pages; pdf)

2019 Regular Legislative Session

  • Download our fact sheet on what happened during the 2019 regular legislative session (March 2019; 2 pages; pdf)
  • Download our policy priorities (Dec. 2018; 2 pages; pdf)