Updated: January 11, 2021 05:39 PM
Created: January 11, 2021 02:32 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Alma Martel, an educator and mother, supports a proposal to permanently fund early childhood education in New Mexico.
"We don’t want them to be like in jail or be bad citizens," she said. "We want these kids to be very good persons in the future."
Martel joined Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state lawmakers during a virtual news conference Monday.
State Rep. Antonio Maestas and Rep. Javier Martinez are sponsoring a resolution that would let voters decide to pass a constitutional amendment to slightly raise the distribution from the state’s land grant permanent fund.
"The land and the royalties and the land grant permanent fund belongs to New Mexicans, and there’s nothing wrong with New Mexicans, their representatives and their voters deciding how best to utilize that fund and to spend that money," Maestas said.
A study shows the majority of voters in New Mexico want state lawmakers to pass the resolution that would put the issue on the ballot.
"There is no legislator who disagrees that early childhood is an important investment. However, we have not been investing at the levels that we need to invest," Martinez said. "Our children cannot wait for us to build out a system over the course of 20 years. If we wait that long, we would have lost another two to three generations of children. We have the ability, we have the opportunity right now to send this question to the voters.”
A similar piece of legislation has failed in the past.
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