The 2024 session of the New Mexico State Legislature begins Tuesday and while legislators have been busy pre-filing bills, The University of New Mexico has created a list of its legislative priorities this year, many of which are connected to the University’s 2040 goals as part of the institution’s overall strategic plan.

As the flagship university for the state of New Mexico, UNM’s 2040 goals have been designed as part of its long-term strategic plan to achieve a vibrant and thriving society to build a healthier, better educated and more economically robust New Mexico.

How to track bills of interest...

Legislators have been busy filing proposed legislation that will be considered during this year’s 30-day session. UNM will be tracking several bills impacting its main and branch campuses, including HSC, Human Resources, retirement, the budget, and higher education in general. 

UNM’s Office of Government & Community Relations will keep the campus community apprised of bills of interest to the University on the UNM Bill Tracker. UNM also encourages friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues to sign up. The goal is to keep the campus community apprised of the process and provide the info you’ll need to navigate the 2024 legislative session.

When the 30-day session opens on Tuesday, Jan. 16, legislators and the executive branch will once again be wrangling with record-high revenue and how best to invest in New Mexico while continuing to increase cash reserves. Much of the anticipated $3.6 billion in “new” revenue projections is associated with record-high oil and gas revenues. “New money” is defined as projected recurring revenues for the following fiscal year less current year recurring appropriations. The session will end at noon on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The FY25 Executive Budget Recommendation from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration totals $10.5 billion in recurring spending, a 9.9 percent increase from FY24. The governor’s recommendations include $2.1 billion in one-time, nonrecurring cash infusions for the upcoming fiscal year.

The FY25 Legislative Budget Recommendation from the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) similarly totals $10.1 billion, a 5.9 percent increase over FY24 spending. Reserves would be 30 percent of planned spending. The LFC proposed budget recommendations call for across-the-board raises for state employees totaling 4%. The governor’s budget pitch included a 3% raise for all state employees, with bigger raises for law enforcement, including state police and corrections, probation and parole officers.

The following gives a brief glimpse of The University of New Mexico’s Fiscal Year 2023 legislative priorities:

Enhance Student Services & Support, Workforce Development, Research & Public Service
UNM 2040 Goals: Advance New Mexico; Student Experience and Educational Innovation; Inclusive Excellence; Sustainability

  • Support I&G increase, RPSPs and other targeted appropriations
  • Expand access to programs supporting student health, well-being and basic needs
  • Increase endowments, expansion funds, student services, programmatic and research support
  • Grow STEM education capacity

Expand Opportunities for Equitable Access & Affordability in Higher Education & Health
UNM 2040 Goals: Student Experience and Educational Innovation; Inclusive Excellence

  • Sustain Opportunity Scholarship and Lottery Scholarship program investments
  • Support expansions of targeted Loan-for-Service and Loan Repayment programs
  • Enhance cultural diversity and inclusivity in programs and services

Strengthen Recruitment & Retention of Faculty, Staff & Health Professionals
UNM 2040 Goals: Advance New Mexico; Student Experience and Educational Innovation; Inclusive Excellence; Sustainability; One University

  • Fully fund a compensation increase of 6% for all employees and an additional 3% targeted increase for faculty to ensure regional and national competitiveness
  • Provide flexibility in administration of compensation increases to better address compensation inequities
  • Supplement I&G allocations to better support School of Medicine teaching faculty, residents and fellows

Improve Student/Learning Environments & Campus Safety & Accessibility
UNM 2040 Goals: Student Experience and Educational Innovation; Sustainability

  • Fund GO Bond and other capital requests, including campus technology, cybersecurity and equipment modernization, and building renewal and replacement
  • Provide for updates to Lobo Athletics facilities and increased support for student-athletes and their fans
  • Support other targeted appropriations

Enhance Health Care Access & Improve Health Outcomes Statewide
UNM 2040 Goals: Advance New Mexico; Student Experience and Educational Innovation; Inclusive Excellence; Sustainability; One University

  • Increase provider reimbursement rates
  • Support targeted provider incentives for educating, training and practicing in underserved areas
  • Leverage existing momentum for an accredited UNM School of Public Health

Promote Economic Development & Energy Efficiency
UNM 2040 Goals: Advance New Mexico; Inclusive Excellence; Sustainability

  • Support RPSPs, capital requests and other appropriations
  • Grow the Technology Enhancement Fund
  • Leverage existing opportunities to draw down available federal dollars for research, educational programs and patient care
  • Provide funding for a more energy-efficient university vehicle fleet
  • Cultivate entrepreneurialism, tech transfer and state revenue diversification

In terms of specific capital outlay projects, UNM has identified several campus and infrastructure projects also interconnected to the UNM 2040 Goals including:

Albuquerque Campus Capital Requests
- Humanities & Social Sciences Complex ($110 million)
- Demolition Request – Humanities & Ortega Hall ($5.86 million)

Health & Health Sciences Capital Priorities
- College of Pharmacy Renovation ($57 million)
- Health Sciences Network Upgrade ($11.3 million)                                                         
- UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center CT Simulator Replacement ($1.65 million)        
- Cancer Center Expansion Supplemental Funding ($15 million)                        

UNM Branch Campuses
Gallup campus

- Gurley Hall Phase 3 Project ($4 million)                                                                         
- Gurley Hall Phase 1 & 2 Supplemental Funding ($3.9 million)                          

Los Alamos Campus                                                                       
- Student Services and Success Center Renovation ($2.7 million)                                  
- Campuswide Infrastructure Improvements & Workplace Training Supplemental Funding ($4.62 million)                                         

Taos Campus
- Space STEM Center ($3.57 million)                                                                               
- Fred Peralta Hall Renovation Supplemental Funding ($1.77 million)                

Valencia Campus
- Nursing-Allied Health Complex ($6 million)                                                      
- New Campus Entrance ($2.58 million)                                                               

For a complete and detailed list of UNM’s FY25 Appropriations requests, including Research & Public Service Projects, visit UNM's 2024 Legislative Priorities