The only reason New Mexico thought they could do this was because of their success in the energy industry. Do they think Biden is going to improve that situation?

NBC News reports:

New Mexico promised its students free college. Then oil prices tanked.

The New Mexico governor’s office made sure to alert The New York Times before the big announcement last year that a public college education would soon be free for all residents.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said New Mexico, notoriously poor and almost last in state education rankings, would be the first state to take the step, thanks to a blue wave that swept the state in 2018, when Democrats elected Lujan Grisham after eight years of a Republican governor, flipped the state’s sole Republican seat in Congress from red to blue and strengthened majorities in the state Legislature.

“This program is an absolute game changer for New Mexico,” Lujan Grisham said at the time. “In the long run, we’ll see improved economic growth, improved outcomes for New Mexican workers and families and parents.”

In New Mexico, the median household income is around $12,000 less than the national average, and the poverty rate hovers near 18 percent. Lujan Grisham, who is known to have national political ambitions, went on a National Public Radio show to talk about the idea, which she said would boost not only the state’s economy but also its reputation and students’ futures.

But the plan, to be funded by revenue earned from fracking in the Permian Basin, never materialized. Grisham faced opposition in the Legislature, even from members of her own party, and from some college presidents skeptical about how much it would help low-income students…

After the coronavirus pandemic devastated international oil markets in April and prices tanked, Lujan Grisham could no longer pull cash out of the Permian Basin, an oil field in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico that had become the country’s top-producing oil field through new horizontal fracking technology. As the economy slumped, the state was forced to cut its budget and to reconsider ambitious and expensive legislation.


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