Updated: September 10, 2020 10:34 PM
Created: September 10, 2020 08:45 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said she is cautiously optimistic about Congress stepping in to help states deal with budget shortfalls that were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"States need additional money, and we're going to keep fighting for getting additional money both for the state budgets and to our local partners and into the hands of small businesses," the governor said during a briefing Thursday.
The National Governor's Association is asking for $500 billion.
"I am hopeful that we can continue to reopen the economy, that we can successfully deal with education," the governor said. "And I'm not going to have to ask the legislature to take reserves to zero."
New Mexico's reserves are at about 10%.
The state has taken steps, including a hiring freeze, and asking departments to reduce their budget requests.
The governor says there's too much in the air to know if there will be another special session, but come January she will expect lawmakers to to make tough decisions.
"I do expect that as we go to the legislature, we're going to have to look at ways to tighten our belts and I have no doubt we're going to have to look for innovative ways to increase economic activity," Gov. Lujan Grisham said.
She suggested recreational cannabis as a means of generating income.
"That's 100 million dollars. And it doesn't fix it but it plugs one of those holes," the governor said.
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