New Mexico could reach $2 billion budget surplus

Oct 28, 2018

Kassi Nelson | KOB4 | October 15th, 2018

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.— New Mexico may be on track for a $2 billion budget surplus thanks to the oil and gas industry.

‘I've been in the Legislature a decade and I've never seen numbers like this,” said House Speaker Brian Egolf.

The outlook a lot different from two years ago when lawmakers argued what to cut in order to balance a nearly $300 million deficit for fiscal year 2018.

Egolf says Democrats would like to invest the money in education.

“We see the possibility of hiring, over the next five years, as many as 10,000 teachers in New Mexico,” Egolf said.

Michelle Lujan Grisham is on board with that plan if she becomes governor, according to Egolf.

Republicans have plans for the money as well.

One of their top priorities would be on improving infrastructure.

A representative for gubernatorial candidate Steve Pearce said the Republican will “direct new funds to major infrastructure improvements including rural broadband, water, and safer roads for all New Mexicans as well as getting more funds into the classroom for students and teachers."

Egolf says lawmakers won’t know if the state reaches the $2 billion surplus until January. He says the state currently has a 1.2 billion surplus.