Here’s what your New Mexico lawmakers are doing for the rest of the year

‘Interim’ committees to set policy and spending priorities for 2024 session

By: - May 31, 2023 5:05 am

The sun rises above the New Mexico State Capitol on Friday, March 3, 2023, in Santa Fe, N.M. (Photo by Liam DeBonis for Source NM)

Although New Mexico’s legislative session does not begin until January 2024, lawmakers and legislative staff will be working throughout the summer at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe and in places across the state to study and set agendas for the state moving forward.

Below are some of the goals outlined in the Legislative Finance Committee’s 2023 Staff Interim Work Plans, organized by broad policy areas. You can find more detail in the link about the issues and state agencies involved, timelines and intended outcomes.

Below you will also find the tentative times and places for the initial meetings of the interim committees responsible for digging into the details of state government before next year’s session. You can find more detailed information on the 2023 Interim Committee Calendar. Unless specified, all meetings will be conducted at the state capital in Santa Fe.


The New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 9 a.m. on May 31 in Room 307.

The Investments and Pensions Oversight Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 2 in Room 321.

The Revenue Stabilization and Tax Policy Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 8 in Room 322.

The Transportation Infrastructure Revenue Subcommittee will hold its organizational meeting at 1:30 p.m. on June 12 in Room 309.

The Economic and Rural Development and Policy Committee will have its organizational meeting at 1 p.m. on June 21 at the state capitol, room to be announced.

The Legislative Finance Committee will meet from June 27 through June 29 in Las Cruces, location to be announced.

The Mortgage Finance Authority Oversight Committee will meet on July 7 in Albuquerque, location to be announced.

Some of the goals for legislative staff in the interim meetings include:

  • Create a consolidated inventory of state food security programs.
  • Improve the labor force participation rate.
  • Monitor minimum wage increases and the paid family medical leave program.
  • Determine whether the unemployment insurance trust fund can break even by no longer accounting for the higher unemployment rates from earlier in the pandemic.
  • Monitor spending, college enrollment and projected labor shortages in nursing, teaching, and social work.



The Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force held its organizational meeting on May 26.

The Legislative Education Study Committee will meet from June 28 through June 30 in Taos.

Some of the goals for this legislative staff in the interim include:

  • Evaluate teacher leadership initiatives and professional work time, evaluate effectiveness of teacher pipeline initiatives, analyze staffing levels across the state, compare salary and benefit competitiveness with neighboring states.
  • Monitor scholarship funds distribution and research grant spending.
  • Monitor pre-kindergarten enrollment, spending and implementation.
  • Evaluate changes in school funding, calendars and instructional time.
  • Evaluate student and family engagement, attendance, social-emotional learning, behavioral health and out-of-school programs.
  • Remove data collection and reporting bottlenecks, monitor public school spending on learning loss, monitor school funding reserves and monitor funding for tribal education departments and tribal libraries.
  • Establish school reporting requirements, hold schools accountable for improving outcomes.
  • Track student retention and graduation rates, benchmark student performance, and identify student support services, track degree and certificate production, assess the impact of leadership turnover on student outcomes.
  • Monitor spending on the new scholarship program for graduate students in STEM, develop best practices for STEM training.
  • Develop spending recommendations and monitor student success in dual credit and career and technical education programs.
  • Determine annual cost of the opportunity scholarship and monitor work study program spending.

Environment & Climate Change

The Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 6 in Room 307.

The Water and Natural Resources Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 9:30 a.m. on June 13, room to be announced.

The Radioactive and Hazardous Materials Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 15 in Room 326.

Some of the goals for legislative staff in the interim include:

  • Monitor the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s (EMNRD) orphan oil and gas well-plugging program by tracking federal money received, agency spending plans, and program performance.
  • Monitor the $100 million given to the Department of Finance and Administration to provide zero-interest reimbursable loans to political subdivisions of the state to replace or repair infrastructure damaged by fire, flooding, or debris flows caused by the Hermits Peak-Calf Canyon Fire.
  • Monitor the Environment Department Water Protection Division funding for contract engineers, vacancy rate reduction, cleanup of contaminated groundwater, development of a surface water discharge-permitting program, and regionalization of small water systems.
  • Create better performance measures for the Office of the State Engineer.

Police & Prison

The Courts, Corrections and Justice Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 9:30 a.m. on June 5 in the House Chamber.

Some of the goals for legislative staff in the interim include:

  • Improve access to substance use disorder services, and behavioral health services for incarcerated people, homeless people and Native American people.
  • Monitor newly created Office of Family Representation and Advocacy.
  • Determine whether savings from declining populations in Juvenile Justice Services facilities could be reinvested in evidence-based community programs.
  • Develop legislation to reduce incarceration for technical probation and parole violations, monitor transitional housing, and develop better performance measures for the Corrections Department and the Parole Board.
  • Develop better performance measures for the Corrections Department’s new reentry program.
  • Research ways to centralize and integrate criminal justice health care and behavioral health care systems and consider a different, more cost-effective, structure of health care provision in New Mexico’s prisons and jails.
  • Monitor implementation of new police Certification Board to avoid limitations of the existing Law Enforcement Academy Board, new training requirements, and new police misconduct database.
  • With most court fees going away next fiscal year, estimate the true costs of enterprises funded by those fees so they can be funded from other sources.
  • Monitor police recruitment and warrant enforcement spending to ensure they are having the intended impact.


The Legislative Health and Human Services Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 12 in Room 322.

The Tobacco Settlement Revenue Oversight Committee will hold its organizational meeting at 10 a.m. on June 14 in Room 305.

Some of the goals for legislative staff in the interim include:

  • Improve access to primary care, behavioral health, and maternal and child health across New Mexico.
  • Equalize access to public school capital outlay funds, monitor costs; study school heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, track spending on security, CTE, pre-kindergarten, and maintenance.
  • Analyze Medicaid enrollment, unwinding projections, and funding as people get kicked off the beneficiary rolls with the end of the COVID emergency, and adjust budget recommendations
  • Ensure cost-effective health insurance coverage for New Mexicans by determining funding needs from the health care affordability fund and other revenue sources.
  • Expand services under New Mexico’s Medicaid home and community-based waiver.
  • Monitor the expansion of the Medicaid matched home visiting program and give policy options to expand it more quickly.
  • Improve transparency on Medicaid managed care organizations payment rates, fines, penalties, claw backs, and purchasing.
  • Combine the IT systems used by the Human Services Department, the Department of Health, CYFD and the Aging and Long-Term Services Department.


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Austin Fisher
Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.