The windfall comes as New Mexico officials grapple with a court order to shore up funding for public schools to meet basic educational standards and a recent downgrade to the state's credit rating based on mounting public pension liabilities.
Economists from three state agencies and the Legislature reported a nearly 15 percent increase in general fund revenues for the fiscal year that ended June 30 — a growth rate the state has not seen in more than a decade. Oil production gains on relatively high energy prices are expected to continue, driving continued growth in state government income, the forecast stated.
Tax revenue and other government income is expected to surpass annual spending obligations by $1.2 billion during the fiscal year that begins in July 2019, according to a report from staff at the Legislature's lead budget-writing committee. General fund spending for the current fiscal year is set at $6.3 billion.