LAS CRUCES – As New Mexico’s state legislature begins work Tuesday, Jan. 17, to allocate an historically large budget — totaling $9.4 billion in recurring spending, an 11.9% increase from the last fiscal year— institutes of higher education around the state will be asking for a piece of that pie.
For New Mexico State University, this will include capital outlay requests from legislators, research and public service projects, continued support for lottery and opportunity scholarships and a sizable injection to boost the university’s online offerings.
Now more than halfway through the current fiscal year, NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu said the university is on solid footing and is committed to balancing the budget before the fiscal year ends on June 30.
Enrollment is up. At some campuses throughout the NMSU system, enrollment is approaching or exceeding the pre-pandemic levels last seen in fall 2019. At the main Las Cruces campus, enrollment for the Fall 2022 semester was 14,268; that’s just 28 students shy of the fall 2019 enrollment of 14,296.
Recurring vs. non-recurring costs
Legislative allocations are often viewed in two ways — recurring and non-recurring. Recurring costs are built into the state’s budget and must be spent every year. Non-recurring items are one-time investments, generally made when the state has a surplus of cash to invest in long-term goals.
That’s where New Mexico stands in this year’s legislative session.
But that’s also where the pressure…