Updated: September 11, 2020 10:09 AM
Created: September 10, 2020 02:52 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham testified virtually Thursday in front of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee.
During her testimony, she explained why it's important for the federal government to provide New Mexico financial assistance.
"Small business revenue in our state is down 21% this year," the governor told lawmakers. "Many have furloughed or laid off workers, and of course, some have closed their doors for good."
The governor said New Mexico has already spent $400 million on direct COVID-costs, like personal protective equipment.
More than $500 million has gone toward indirect costs, such as state agencies and businesses adapting to a COVID-positive world.
She also explained how New Mexico's economy is suffering because the price of oil has gone down.
These three expenses are tied together. We cannot emphasize one over another. Let me be clear. These are not static data points. The pandemic is ongoing. The storm is raging and those winds of fiscal damage are not dying down," the governor said.
Gov. Lujan Grisham testified alongside other state governors about the need for more federal funding.
New Mexico state lawmakers say there will be budget challenges in the upcoming session, especially if the federal government does not help out the state.
"We all know, and I know, that tightening our belts in the coming months, and years, is critical. And in some places like New Mexico, we already have," the governor said. "But these cost-saving measures will not be enough to weather the storm. An umbrella is not enough protection in a hurricane."
To read her full testimony, click here.
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