New Mexico State Capital Building

SANTA FE - The Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) will hold its August meeting in Taos Ski Valley, with hearings focused on early childhood, public education, behavioral health, the economy, and the status and future of the state's finances.

The hearings start Tuesday (Aug. 24) with a Public Education Subcommittee meeting scheduled to include discussions of learning time lost to pandemic-related school closures; bottlenecks in the educator workforce pipeline; initiatives for educating Native American, special education and other students at risk of falling behind; and other issues.

The full LFC, a bicameral budget and accountability committee, will start its meeting Wednesday (Aug. 25) with welcoming remarks from the mayors of Taos Ski Valley and town of Taos and the chairman of the county commission and an early childhood accountability report that looks at the state's performance on child maltreatment and early childhood health and education.

"This month's agenda tackles some of the most critical issues facing New Mexico -- child welfare and education, the needs of those with behavioral health issues, and, most importantly, to what extent the state's resources will allow us to address those issues," said Chairwoman Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup. "These hearings should prove interesting to anyone who wants to come or listen online."

Hearings for the afternoon of Aug. 25 include a report on the economic recovery with the secretaries of the Economic Development, Workforce Solutions, and tourism departments.

The committee is set to return to the topic of public education on Thursday (Aug. 26), with a morning hearing on the Martinez-Yazzie educational sufficiency lawsuit findings on instructional time and quality. The afternoon agenda includes a review of behavioral health in New Mexico and an update of an evaluation on substance use disorder treatment and outcomes.

The following morning, the committee is scheduled to hear from its chief economist and the secretaries of Finance and Administration and Taxation and Revenue departments about the state's financial picture.

In other hearings on the agenda, the committee will discuss state college efforts to reverse enrollment declines and the status of federal stimulus funds.

The committee meeting itself can be streamed online at sg001-harmony.sliq.net/00293/harmony and reports discussed during the meeting become publicly available when the relevant hearing begins through links on the online agenda, nmlegis.gov/Entity/LFC/Committee_Information.

- Submitted report

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