The NMSU Office of Government Relations represents New Mexico State University’s interests and priorities with the state legislature, federal government, and government agencies.


Reopening College Campuses

On July 16, 2020, NMSU Chancellor Dan Arvizu presented at a Legislative Finance Committee regarding the reopening of college campuses in New Mexico.  Click on the links below for information.

June 2020 Special Session

On June 18-22, the NM Legislature held a special session to work on the state’s budget in light of COVID-19.  The legislature completed work on two solvency bills, which in the end resulted in reductions to the NMSU budget for FY21.  A report is posted at the link below:

COVID-19 Updates and Response

 

House Introduces Next COVID-19 Relief Package

The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, was introduced in the House on May 12. The $3 trillion proposal includes approximately $26.7 billion for higher education.  This is only a proposal and would have to be passed by the Senate, which is considered to be highly unlikely.

 

Department of Education Webpage for CARES Act HEERF

The Department of Education has a webpage dedicated to information on the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund in the CARES Act.  The page includes FAQs, guidance, and submission procedures for both student and institutional funds.

 

NACUBO Releases Guidance for COVID-19

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) released guidance for COVID-19 funds and other accounting topics related to the coronavirus.

 

Department of Education Office of Federal Student Aid Announces Preliminary Reporting Requirements for HEERF

The Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid posted an announcement with preliminary reporting requirements for institutions that have received funds through the CARES Act’s Higher Emergency Relief Fund.

 

IRS Guidance Says Student Emergency Grants Not Subject to Tax

The IRS released FAQs that clarify student emergency assistance through the CARES Act will not be subject to taxation and not considered as part of a student’s gross income.

 

The Department of Education Releases New FAQs and Guidelines for COVID Emergency Relief Grants for Higher Ed

The NMSU system will receive a total of $14,076,359  million under Section 180004(a)(1) and 18004(c) of the CARES Act.  The law specifies that at least half of the funding should be distributed as emergency grants for students based on a certain set of criteria and part of the funding is to be used by institutions to cover COVID-19 related costs.  On April 21, the Department of Education released FAQs about the distribution of the funding.

 

The CARES Act

On March 27, the President  into law H.R. 748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The bill provides $2 trillion in emergency relief related to the coronavirus pandemic.  The bill was passed by the House of Representatives earlier in the day.

Click on the link below to view the impacts to education, including $13.9 billion for higher education.

Read the bill: https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hr748/BILLS-116hr748enr.pdf

Previously Congress also passed HR 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and before that HR 6074, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.

NMSU has a page with all information on the coronavirus pandemic as it relates to NMSU at https://nmsu.edu/coronavirus/.

The 2020 Legislative Session

The legislative session adjourned on February 20.

Post-Session Legislative Report

The Governor had until March 11 to sign any bills passed by the legislature into law.  Click on the link below to read a final report of the 2020 legislative session and impacts to NMSU.

Final 2020 POST-SESSION LEGISLATIVE REPORT

2020 NMSU Bill Tracking Sheet

Every year the government relations team keeps a tracking list of bills that may impact NMSU and higher education:

2020 BILL TRACKING SHEET

NMSU’s 2020 Legislative Priorities

New Mexico State University undergoes a long and intensive process to determine what legislative priorities it will put forth during the session. Click on the image below to see legislative items that NMSU requested this legislative session.

2020 Legislative Priorities Book

In preparing for the 2020 Legislative Session, the Office of Government Relations prepared a Legislative Priorities Book with more details. Click on the link below for this year’s book (some of the image quality has been decreased in order to reduce the size of the document).

2020 LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES BOOK

LFC Budget Recommendations

Every year the Legislative Finance Committee Makes recommendations:

Volume 1: Policy and Performance Analysis

Volume 2: Appropriation Recommendations

Volume 3: Supplemental Charts and Graphs

Economists Release New Revenue Figures

On December 9, legislative and executive economists released new general fund revenue figures in a hearing before the Legislative Finance Committee.  The report says the state will have an estimated $797 million in “new” money in FY21, over FY20.  However this is down from an estimate for August.   To read a copy of the report, click on the link below:

General Fund December Estimates