The 2021 session of the New Mexico Legislature begins soon and The University of New Mexico has developed its legislative priorities for Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) while being mindful of the continued pandemic and its impact on the state budget. The session begins on Jan. 19 at noon and concludes on March 20.

This year’s 60-day session will be held virtually due to the pandemic and the Roundhouse will be off-limits to the public and lobbyists for the entire session. The House and Senate will adopt specific rules once the session gets underway. During those 60 days, legislators and the executive branch will be faced with many varied issues, though none will be more important than crafting the FY22 state budget in the midst of a global pandemic.

“UNM continues to be grateful to the legislative and the executive branches for the support they provide to UNM,” said UNM Chief Government Relations Officer Barbara Damron. “While this legislative session will be different due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UNM Office of Government and Community Relations continues to work diligently, albeit remotely, with the Governor, Senators, Representatives, and associated state staff to represent and defend the best interests of our faculty, staff, students, and overall UNM community. We work across all of our campuses to speak with a clear, unified voice to our legislators.”

Both the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) and the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) have submitted budget recommendations based on December revenue projections. “New money,” defined as projected recurring revenues for the following fiscal year less current year recurring appropriations, is estimated at $169 million for FY22, or 2.3 percent growth from the FY21 recurring budget. By comparison, last year’s “new money” was projected to be an estimated $800 million before the pandemic hit forcing the legislature into a special session to revise its original budget.

The following gives a brief glimpse of The University of New Mexico’s 2021 legislative priorities.

Fiscal Year 2022 University of New Mexico Legislative Priorities

Instruction and General Funding

  • Maintain I&G Funding
  • Full restoration of the federal funds swap to the I&G base


  • Support additional compensation for recruitment and retention of quality faculty and staff


  • Support students’ efforts to bring more stability to the Lottery Scholarship Fund

Research and Public Service Projects

New Programs Requests

o   Project for NM Graduates of Color: Budget Request $185,850
o   UNM UNITED ECHO:  Budget Request $618,312

Expansion Program Requests

o   Athletics: Expansion Amount: Expansion Amount $1,000,000
o   NM Poison and Drug Information Center: Expansion Amount $244,888
o   Office of Medical Investigator: Expansion Amount 537,950
o   UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center: Expansion Amount $342,200

Capital Outlay

  • Albuquerque Campus
    • College of Fine Arts Facility Renewal - $5,300,000
    • Enhance UNM Health Sciences Center Simulation Activities - $1,900,000
    • Equipment for Rio Ranch Center of Orthopaedic Excellence - $2,100,000
    • Fire Safety Improvements - $2,000,000
    • Modernizing Essential Research Facilities - $2,000,000
    • Planning and Design Funds for Pharmacy - $1,000,000
    • UNM Comprehensive Cancer Center Radiation Oncology and Laboratory Expansion - $20,000,000
  • Branch Campuses
    • Gallup Facilities Repair and Renewal - $1,125,000
    • Los Alamos Infrastructure Renovations - $1,357,500
    • Taos Infrastructure Improvements - $1,875,000
    • Valencia Learning Commons Renovation - $600,000

To learn more about UNM’s legislative efforts and to follow UNM’s 2021 Legislative Bill Tracker and daily updates, visit Government Relations.