By Dylan R.N. Crabb
What was accomplished during New Mexico’s 2018 legislative session?
- Spaceport America will receive $10 million to build a new hangar for its clientele’s crafts as well as a boost to its regular operating budget and exceptions from the state’s open records law. The open records exceptions is supposedly to protect trade secrets from competitors.
- State employees will receive a 2% pay raise; teachers will receive a 2.5% raise, state police officers will receive a 8.5% raise.
- The Bernalillo County District Attorney will receive a significant increase in their operating budget, larger than other DA offices throughout the state.
The points of tension during the session were state roads, public school district budgets, and the request for more funding from District Attorney Raul Torrez. Republican lawmakers collectively pushed for a “tough on crime” agenda alongside Governor Susana Martinez while most Democratic lawmakers preferred to focus on infrastructure spending and education. A compromise was reached on Wednesday (2/14) evening during the sessions final hours.
The City of Albuquerque currently leads the nation in violent crime rates. DA Torrez requested an increase in public funding to “adequately prosecute crimes.”
A primary issue of interest following this legislation is whether or not the increase in public funding will help reduce crime in Albuquerque.