SANTA FE, N.M.(KRQE) -- Beginning her second term as CEO of New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered her annual state of the state address to a room full of lawmakers from the House and Senatefirst day of the 60-day legislative period in 2023. In a nearly hour-long speech, the governor outlined a series of investments she hopes lawmakers will approve in the midst of another record year of oil and gas tax revenues.
The speech marks the fifth statewide address in Governor Lujan Grisham's career. Last week, the governorreleased its list of budget and spending priorities.many of the prioritiesagree with the recommendations of the actors of state budgetary authority:Legislative Finance Committee.
Here is the full text of Governor Lujan Grisham's speech:
Good day. Thank you my Lord. Lieutenant Governor, Mr. President, Mrs. Pro Temporal Senator, Distinguished Senators and Representatives. It is a privilege to be with you today. I also want to pay tribute to United States Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, a proud daughter of New Mexico and an outstanding steward of our nation's public lands and natural beauty, as well as Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández, Congresswoman Melanie Stansbury, and all the sovereign leaders here today . . Thank you for joining us.
It is a joy to be among so many dedicated officers, dedicated community leaders and good friends. And I'm honored to speak to my fellow New Mexicans.
A little over four years ago, I began my tenure with a simple idea: that we have the power to choose what we would become. That our past didn't have to dictate our future. That with hard work, big dreams, and good faith, together we can build our state and achieve a New Mexico that allows us to reach our God-given potential. May we take prosperous aspirations and turn them into prosperous reality. For the past four years, this vision of New Mexico, a land of opportunity, where anything is possible, has been our guiding star.
Choosing to make that vision a reality meant addressing injustices and injustices—in our economy and our education system; in public safety and public health; in the sustainability of our environment and the opportunities of our future. We have done this by leaving behind the old struggles and overcoming the predictable conflicts that have defined our state for decades and seeking new and creative ways to achieve our common goals. We engage not as adversaries but as allies, and we recognize the common spirit that burns brightly within us all. In the last four years, we've made previously unimaginable strides, and today, New Mexico is stronger than ever.
Let me tell you where we are.
Today in New Mexico we have a stronger economy than it has in decades. In four years, we have made government-provided health care more affordable and education more accessible than any other state. We are building a smarter, more effective approach to public safety that reverses years of neglect and underfunding by previous governments. And our focus on clean energy, sustainability and environmental protection is a model for the whole nation. This is the wonder of New Mexico. This is the magic of New Mexico, manifested and brought to life not only by the people of this room, but by the tens of thousands of New Mexicans throughout the Land of Enchantment who have risen and stood up; who raised his visor and hardened his spine; who believed in something better and set out to make it happen.
The state of our state today is an extraordinary achievement by New Mexicans for New Mexicans. We should all be proud of our work and the impact of our efforts. I want to recognize and thank each and every one of you, from legislators and officials to sovereign nations, community leaders and residents, who have made all of our achievements possible. Our achievements belong to all of us.
Today is a great day to be a New Mexican. But the truth is that the state of our state is not just today. It's about tomorrow. It's about what we are creating for the future: for the next legislature, for the next year, for the next decade, and for the generations of New Mexicans who will live in the world we are building. And I'm telling you now: we still have more to do.
We must do more to stand up for our children and our parents, our friends and neighbors by developing tools and resources that can help them move forward.
We must do more to protect our country and institutions and make New Mexico the best place on earth to live, grow, raise a family and start a business.
We have more work to do to serve the New Mexicans who want nothing more than to realize their own vision of a better and brighter state, one where there is no limit to what they can achieve.
So I set priorities that will double our progress; that it will provide more help to our communities; and that will unleash the spirit of opportunity and innovation that is our state's greatest asset.
Let's start with the economic well-being of our state. In the last four years we have transformed our economy. We unleash the potential of our entrepreneurs and job creators and empower the people who drive them forward. In the past year alone, we added 30,000 new jobs, unemployment is at its lowest level in 14 years, we just saw a record $7 billion in annual visitor spending and enacted $400 million in permanent tax cuts. Our message is clear: New Mexico is moving forward.
Now we are investing even more in a dynamic and growing economy. In my budget priorities, I'm calling for $1 billion in economic relief, including refunds of $750 for each individual taxpayer or $1,500 for couples who apply together to help more New Mexicans buy things that you need now. I'm proposing a tax reform package designed to support New Mexico's hard-working families and businesses: another cut in our gross income tax rate to help consumers save money; implement sensible anti-pyramidal measures to make goods and services more accessible; and provide income tax cuts for middle class New Mexicans, making our system more progressive so that all taxpayers have a fair chance and are treated fairly. Everyone should be asked to pay their share, but no one should be faced with a burden they cannot afford.
The same principle applies at a time when New Mexicans across the state are working hard to rent or buy homes that are often out of reach. Whether we're talking about the more than 2,000 New Mexicans who are currently homeless or the many others at risk of homelessness; or renters struggling to stay afloat; or people who have saved for years to become a homeowner and are finding the rising cost of housing beyond their wildest dreams: my government is taking action. I'm requesting more than $100 million for housing programs including mobile homeless response teams serving displaced people; eviction protections that keep families in place; Inbound support that helps people start a new chapter and begin building justice; and investments in the Mortgage Finance Agency, matched exponentially by federal funding. We still need thousands of houses, so let's build them.
The benefits of these programs are real and concrete. Investments like this support people like Cheryle Anderson at Gallup. Growing up, Cheryle's family was always on the go, and her mother had dreams of having a "forever" home. Shortly after Cheryle's 18th birthday, her mother died, but not before making Cheryle promise that one day she would buy her own house. Today, with the help of the New Mexico Down Payment Assistance Program, Cheryle made that dream come true and fulfilled her promise to her mother. Now Cheryle and her own young children have a place to call home forever.
Housing is extremely important, but so is the infrastructure that offers people in our country jobs and opportunities. That's why I'm also calling for $128 million in water infrastructure improvements, $146 million in statewide broadband rollouts, and updates to the New Mexico Film Tax Credit to bring even more businesses to communities in every corner of our state and our investments can double . . in critical human resources development and professional training programs. New Mexicans are the best workers in the country and we create the conditions that enable them to have lasting careers.
Of course, to fill new positions we need to help our students develop the necessary skills they need and that means providing a good education for all ages. This has been my priority since day one of my tenure, which is why over the past four years we have strengthened our education system by designing and supporting a cradle-to-career education that gives New Mexicans the tools to they need to be successful. Our investments in early childhood education and care bring quality preschool education to three- and four-year-old children across the state. Our commitment to making education affordable is lifting families out of poverty and putting them on a path to success for the first time in decades. After years of being chronically underestimated and criminally underpaid, New Mexico public school teachers now earn the highest salaries in the Southwest. The Opportunity Scholarship provides free higher education to New Mexicans of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life so that everyone in our state has the opportunity to reach their full potential. Since we created tuition-free universities, New Mexico's college enrollment has increased for the first time in more than a decade, and the number of full-time students enrolling has increased by nearly 10%, the second largest increase in college enrollment of any was in Country. . In some cases, grandparents, parents, and children all attend college at the same time, bringing new opportunities and a new sense of promise to what we can achieve together.
Our Cradle to Career approach has changed lives. Will Schwettmann is a US Marine Corps Veteran who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and father to a beautiful two year old girl, Charlie, who will be three in a few weeks. He and his wife needed access to quality childcare while they were both working, and they were accepted into a nearby daycare, but the tuition fees were almost as high as the mortgage and Will feared the cost of that was impossible . .pay With the help of our Child Care Assistance Program's extended income entitlement and no co-payments from parents, Will was able to cover most of the costs, and a few months later Charlie was admitted to a new state daycare center in Santa Fe. a first-class team and respected their working hours. Our programs have enabled Will to stop living paycheck to paycheck; Save for Charlie's future; and provide your daughter with the best possible environment to help her learn and grow.
I'm proud of what we've accomplished over the past four years, but today I'm announcing that we're going to do even more and start from scratch with universal childcare, so to speak. As our successful Early Childhood Trust Fund grows and with our new constitutional right to early childhood education, we will provide early childhood care and education to each of our families and invest more than half a billion dollars in money. We will also increase learning time in our K-12 classrooms and provide the resources our teachers and administrators need. Currently, many children are being forced to study on an empty stomach, so I am calling for universal free healthy meals for all New Mexico students, along with an additional $20 million investment in school kitchens to provide the fresh food. nutritious foods our children need to thrive. We call the program Kitchens for Kids and wherever there are children there should be a kitchen that keeps them healthy, strong and ready to learn. New Mexico literally gives food for thought with this program. I also propose that we redesign special education with increased study time, data-driven services, and additional support for special educators, because all students deserve a quality education.
I believe we need to do more to show our appreciation for the great people who work in our schools. I'm moving that New Mexico take over all health premiums for school staff and that we give them an additional 4 percent increase. Our public school staff should be able to focus on our children's learning without fear of health care costs cutting their salaries.
In all of these ways, we are making our education system smarter, more effective, more inclusive, and more equitable to support every student, every day, in every classroom across the state.
Now, as many of you know, my father was a dentist, one of the first dentists to bring public health services to many parts of New Mexico that had no health services at all. Growing up, I saw firsthand how many communities struggled to access the care they needed. That's why we've spent the last four years investing in rural and underserved communities. We created a Health Care Affordability Fund that saves New Mexicans money. We've increased Medicaid reimbursement rates, capped monthly insulin co-payments, and are rebuilding our behavioral health system after nearly a decade of neglecting and eliminating co-payments for behavioral health services.
Here's what I propose to build on that progress:
We invested 200 million to set up a rural health fund.
We demand transparency in drug prices.
We've expanded Medicaid-supported treatment.
Opening of additional school health centers for an additional 25,000 students
Invested $10 million in a full-service reproductive health center in southern New Mexico
We codified the right to abortion into state law to make it a state law of the country.
And we will create the New Mexico Health Authority, an innovative initiative that will bring all of our health services under one roof and bring us one step closer to universal health coverage in New Mexico. Currently, New Mexico is the only state where more than half the population is on Medicaid, including 80% of the children. Expanding Medicaid coverage gives us the opportunity to revolutionize care and become a universal health state. And that's exactly what we want to do, build a healthier, wealthier, and more prosperous New Mexico where we can fulfill our dreams while reducing the fear and distress of untreated chronic conditions.
I want to be clear: Achieving this award is not just an exciting opportunity. It's also a moral obligation. If we believe in equality, as we say, we do; if we believe in justice, as we say; We must ensure that every new Mexican, regardless of their origin and situation, has access to quality care. We should use all the tools at our disposal, including the billions of dollars being made available by the federal government, to provide better benefits and better care for every new Mexican. Let us declare today that we will go there and we will arrive together.
All of that investment and effort goes to waste when the people of New Mexico are not safe in their homes, communities and businesses. You and your family cannot thrive if you are concerned about your children's safety at school, your spouse's safety at work, your own safety at the gas station. It has not gone unnoticed by anyone in this room that in order to enter this room you have to go through a metal detector. There are elected officials in this room today whose homes and families have been shot in despicable acts of political violence, and I want to thank the law enforcement community, including Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina, Bernalillo County Sheriff John Allen and the state Police. .who are here today. , for the quick and tireless work to apprehend all suspects of these heinous attacks.
I'm proud of the strides we've made in partnership with law enforcement over the past four years: We've supported law enforcement since day one to bring another 1,000 police officers into New Mexico communities and make our state a safer place Location. live. Those efforts are paying off, and I'm proud to say that the New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy has trained over 400 police officers in the past year, the most in recent memory. We are also preparing to complete the largest cadet class ever, a 44% increase over the previous class. That's what happens when we give law enforcement the tools they need to do their jobs.
These are necessary steps forward, but everyone here knows we must do more because lives and livelihoods are at stake. Over the next 60 days, we will redouble our efforts and fight with all our might to keep our communities safe. To the honorable Members in this room, I'm not the one asking you. On behalf of the people of New Mexico, I urge you to do much, much more to lessen the burden of crime that is placed on so many of us. We will not compromise on our commitment to establish a "rebuttable presumption" to ensure high-risk violent offenders remain behind bars before trial. We will take on organized crime and the criminals who fund it through shop and retail theft, and destroy the unions who terrorize our business community. And we will continue to expand our police force to ensure our police force has the staff, training and tools to effectively serve our neighborhoods and I call for an additional $100 million investment in the Police Recruitment Fund, to further support the recruitment. and training 1,000 police officers statewide.
This fight also requires that we intensify our efforts to combat the disgusting scourge of gun violence that has infected our nation. In Albuquerque alone, more than 1,000 guns are stolen each year. We all know that we cannot protect our people if the weapons of war continue to inundate our neighborhoods.
That is why I am calling for a ban on assault weapons. I call for an end to government gun loopholes because people with a history of violence should not be able to take advantage of the system to obtain a gun. I call for secure storage reforms that provide penalties for anyone who fails to secure an unattended firearm and make it accessible to an unattended minor. And I call for laws that allow victims of gun violence to file civil lawsuits against gun manufacturers. When we are bold and clear in our knowledge that now is the time to do the right thing, we can save lives and protect the future. I am determined to be successful and I will not give up until New Mexico is the safest state in the country.
These efforts keep everyone safe, including first responders who risk their lives every day to protect and serve. And frankly, we've seen too many lives lost and too many heroes fallen. I want to thank Anita Beers who is with us today. Anita's husband, Lt. Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department Fred Beers was killed in a helicopter crash along with three others: Deputy Sheriff Larry Koren, Deputy Sheriff Michael Levinson, and Lt. Matthew King, Lt. of the Bernalillo County Fire Department while assisting with firefighting efforts in San Miguel County. There are no words I can offer to ease your loss or pain but I want you to know that you and your husband are in our hearts and prayers. And I'm proud to say that our budget is $500,000 for Lt. Fred Beers to help New Mexico departments purchase Honor Guard apparel, flags, and other supplies so our fallen heroes can be buried with dignity and respect. I also recognize that law enforcement officers are not the only public safety officers being asked to put their lives on the line for the benefit of others, which is why we will create equal bereaved benefits for first responders, including creating a fund for firefighter families. killed on duty.
We have a sacred obligation to heroes like Fred who have put themselves in peril and to loved ones who can only await their safe return. I want to say to all of our first responders and their families, we are deeply grateful for your service and we will always be here for you.
The danger to our first responders and the communities they serve was recently brought to light by the wildfires that have devastated our state. These devastating fires directly affected more than 30,000 people in San Miguel and Mora counties and thousands more indirectly, devastating lives and livelihoods, homes and livestock, security and stability, and the bravery of our first responders was matched only by their incredible heroism and resilience. our residents. New Mexico has already taken the lead in ensuring this horrific event does not happen in other states, and my government is committed to using all our energies to make New Mexicans healthy. We're giving $100 million to communities affected by the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon fire to begin rebuilding their infrastructure without waiting for federal funds to be distributed, but make no mistake, we won't rest , until the Federal Resource Management Agency, FEMA emergencies show up, do it. Stand by us and we won't stop until there is a program to administer the $2.5 billion fund for victims and their families that Congress has passed and that our residents and their families deserve.
We know these fires have been amplified by extreme weather caused by climate change, and since I began my tenure, we have taken this threat seriously, using science to mitigate the devastating effects of climate change, protect our environment, and clean energy to promote. Production. . Through our 30x30 initiative, we protect New Mexico's natural resources, improve access to outdoor recreation and build resilience to climate change. We have more than doubled our wind power capacity and commissioned community solar projects that create exciting clean energy and job opportunities that move our state forward.
In the coming days, we will redouble our commitment to establishing a $75 million Land of Enchantment Legacy Fund to create sustainable funding for government programs that protect our environment, address issues like drought and water scarcity, and the root causes tackle climate change. This fund will strengthen initiatives like the River Stewardship Program, which protects our waterways so New Mexicans can continue to hunt, fish, and have access to clean water, providing economic benefits for this generation and generations to come, while strengthening our fragile ecosystems. It will support work like the Healthy Soils program, which promotes resilient agriculture, ranching and other agricultural practices so the fruits of our land can continue to feed our people. It will fund ventures like the Outdoor Equity Fund, which enable youth of all backgrounds and communities to enjoy the great outdoors. The fund has supported 130 organizations that help 37,000 youth have transformative leisure experiences and has become a model for other states and the country. Every new Mexican should be able to enjoy and benefit from our state's unparalleled natural resources, not just now, but always.
We're also taking our sustainability efforts a step further by making our zero emissions goal a state law, because there's no question that New Mexico is committed to a cleaner, healthier future. In the coming months and years we intend to design and implement a number of projects and initiatives to achieve this goal. We will take on this challenge as we have taken on everyone else: with creativity, tenacity and the bold and innovative spirit that has always driven us.
In all of these areas, in all of these ways, New Mexico is on the move. New Mexico is on the move in our economy and our education. When it comes to our public health and safety, New Mexico is on the move. When it comes to energy and the environment, New Mexico is on the move, not in a rush to catch up, but poised to lead the way. We are moving toward a horizon of limitless opportunity, extraordinary prospects, indescribable beauty and unparalleled prosperity.
Of course, I have no illusions that our path is straight or easy. There will be challenges to be faced and obstacles to be overcome. But I also have no doubt that if we seize this moment and seize this moment, we can create the New Mexico that we know and have shown is possible.
We can build an economy and education system that works for everyone. We can create a caring community that protects our health and well-being. We can provide a place of safety and security, natural beauty and abundance. A legacy of opportunities for all New Mexicans.
Anyway, it's about this job. That's what this job is for. It's for the Albuquerque mom who knows her son can be successful if he gets a little extra attention and a little more time. It's for the small business owner in Artesia who sees big things ahead when they can get a little support, a little nudge, to push them forward. It is for young people, like my grandchildren and yours, who are looking to our horizon and imagining their own exciting future here in New Mexico. It is for newcomers who envision the Land of Enchantment as a land of opportunity, a place to build a life for themselves and their families. It is for New Mexicans who have this land deep in their bones, who are moved by its history and encouraged by its potential and filled with love for what it can and should be.
Like all of us, these New Mexicans don't just think about today. You think about tomorrow.
And to all of you - you - I want to say this: Tomorrow, when the sun rises in the Land of Enchantment, it will rise on a place where each new day is an opportunity for progress, greatness, and dreams big. come true. A place with open spaces where the situation you come from doesn't dictate how far you can go. Where your dignity resides and your destiny is not predetermined. A place where anything is possible as long as we are willing to dream, design, work and deliver.
Tomorrow the sun will rise over this enchanted land, and from Silver City to Santa Rosa, from Las Cruces to Santa Fe, we will all rise in this state to meet it together, ready to take the next steps in the journey that we begin. .
Thank you and God bless New Mexico.
The governor's speech Tuesday was the first the governor has delivered in the New Mexico House of Representatives.since 2020, before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.2022 the governorgave a live remote speech from another room, as New Mexico continued various COVID precautions, includinga mask requirement that lasted until mid-February.ab 2021,the governor's recorded speech was played on video for the legislature,as a large number of elected officers chose to attend the meeting via videoconference.