UNM is seeking funding for a variety of concerns during the 2016 session of the New Mexico Legislature. The priorities cover a wide range of issues for the state’s flagship research institution including UNM’s main campus, UNM West in Rio Rancho, UNM Gallup, UNM Los Alamos, UNM Taos and UNM Valencia, all of which serve more than 36,000 students and employ more than 22,000 people.

2016 UNM legislative priorities

  • Current metrics and calculations of the performance based formula be maintained and sustaining or increasing the current shape of the general fund appropriations for higher education.
  • Increased funding of $6,602,000 for the Health Sciences Center to address inequities related to general funding and the enable the School of Medicine to increase medical school faculty salaries.
  • UNM supports solvency of the lottery scholarship that is equitable for all students and the student initiative to extend the liquor excise tax for the lottery scholarship fund.
  • UNM is seeking additional compensation for staff and faculty salaries.
  • UNM seeks funding for capital projects in proportion to an institution’s size and student population.
  • UNM supports House Bill 2 funding for endowed faculty positions.
  • The university has more than $375 million in deferred maintenance costs. This continues to grow at a rate of $20 million a year. UNM is requesting that available funding be applied toward this need on a formula basis.

UNM main campus research and public service projects

  • An expansion of funds of $225,800 to allow all New Mexico public institutions to provide a clear roadmap for degrees and to assist students transferring from two year institutions.
  • Corinne Wolfe Children’s Law Center would like to hire a full time attorney to provide law students with specialized training that will enable them to pursue public interest careers serving New Mexico’s neediest children and families. UNM would also like to hire a development officer to engage in fundraising and grant writing to help build the capacity of the center. The request is for $340,870.
  • The Utton Transboundary Research Center would like to expand staff to increase the center’s capacity to develop private and federal funding sources for the program. The center has a particular emphasis on water rights adjudication. The request is for $278,700.
  • Expansion of the Southwest Indian Law Clinic to allow hiring a full-time administrator to manage the office and classroom components on-campus and to support the provision of legal services, training and education in rural tribal communities. The expansion request of $200,600 will also allow SILC to hire a clinical fellow to assist.

UNM Health Science Center research and public service projects

  • UNM is seeking $905,000 for Fiscal Year 17 to expand funding for graduate medical education residencies as part of an effort to increase general internal care physicians in rural and underserved areas of New Mexico.
  • A new Center for Childhood Maltreatment would establish a program at the UNM Children’s Hospital to build on two existing clinical services. The Para los Niños sexual abuse clinic and the Child Abuse Response Team, a physical abuse and neglect service will fold into the center, which would also support the primary prevention endeavors of the New Mexico-Child Abuse Prevention Partnership. The funding request is $883,200.
  • A new program request called New Mexico Connects would fund a behavioral health team that would be available Monday-Friday to do telehealth consultations and supervised sessions with non-independently licensed clinicians throughout the state. The funding request is for $400,000.
  • The Office of the Medical Investigator is the centralized, state-wide medical examiner for New Mexico. It conducts investigation into the cause and manner of death of all reported cases. It is seeking $451,500 for lights, x-ray machines, a CT scanner and an MRI scanner.
  • Project ECHO (Extension for Community HealthCare Outcomes) is seeking an additional $3,060,000 to expand the number of trained community health workers and peer educators, training events, best practice protocols and participating clinics. Project ECHO improves access to specialty care in rural areas of the state.
  • A new program request for the UNM Pain Consultation and Treatment Center for $1,908,200 will allow the program to hire more providers and decrease the time for patients to enter treatment and expand outreach.

The State Legislature convenes for a 30-day session beginning Jan. 19.

For a related story, visit HSC leaders pitch funding priorities to state lawmakers.