This fall, New Mexico voters should watch out for Constitutional Amendment 2

Most of the attention on non-candidate measures on this fall’s ballot will be on the plan to tap one of New Mexico’s oil and gas-generated “permanent funds” to provide pre-K and other early childhood programs.

But, voters should be aware of and concerned over proposed Amendment 2 on their ballots.

If adopted, the Amendment would add (another) exception to the state’s anti-donation clause to authorize the Legislature to appropriate state funds for infrastructure that provides “essential services.” The amendment defines essential services as “infrastructure that allows internet, energy, water, wastewater or other services provided by law.”

The State already provides various subsidies for broadband and other “utilities,” but the anti-donation clause simply prohibits government paying to directly provide such services to people. In other words, if adopted, there is no limit on who taxpayer dollars could be handed over to and there is very little restricting what could be done with those dollars. For example, your tax money could be used to build a road or water line on private property, with the road and water line then owned by the property owner, not the state.

You can read additional pro/con arguments (on all three amendments) provided by the Legislature here. Here is an article from the Albuquerque Journal.

What you should know about the proposed 2020 New Mexico amendments