Dear Friends and Neighbors,
As I reflect on my first term in office, I want to share what I think are important accomplishments. I campaigned on the issues of land and water, rural economic development, and education, and I have worked to merge that platform with real programs that impact the constituents of House District 41.
Last year we saw the biggest increase in educational funding in 8 years. This year we have further increased funding for education by 28%, and gave all teachers a 5% raise and all school personnel a 4% raise. We continue to concentrate on improving education for all students. It is expected that we will create an Early Childhood Education Trust Fund in the amount of$300 million and have increased investment in early childhood programs by 28%.
I worked tirelessly both sessions to provide funding to create a drug treatment center at the old nursing home in Espanola. In April of 2020, we will be cutting the ribbon for a center that will house 110 clients and create jobs for approximately 70 people. In addition, the Hoy Recovery Program will open its doors within the next six months to house 22 women and their children for long term drug abuse treatment programs while also creating about 25 jobs.
I carried the legislation in the House last session to create a technical trade school at Northern's El Rito Campus and joined with the school districts of Espanola, Taos, Jemez Springs, Pojoaque and Mesa Vista to pass a bond issue to support the long term funding of a technical trade school. Northern 's El Rito Campus is scheduled to open next fall. They will offer dual enrollment programs for the Pipefitters, Plumbers, and Electricians. Next year, juniors in high school may begin taking courses at both their high school and Northern. Upon graduation they will be certified trades workers, leading to jobs at the Lab with beginning wages of $60,000 a year plus benefits.
This year I carried the Census Bill (SB4) in the House and it was signed by the Governor on February 10th. This bill will help bring in an additional $7.8 billion a year in federal funds to our state over the next 10 years. I'm working on HB 248 to provide about $10 million a year for Mutual Domestic Water Associations to help repair and rebuild aging systems in rural unincorporated areas of our state. I was appointed to the House Appropriations & Finance Committee for 2020 and, in that capacity, I have helped create a new judgeship for the First Judicial District (Santa Fe, Los Alamos and Rio Arriba).
This will help clear up the backlog in our courts. I was instrumental in getting Dual Enrollment Credit for our colleges, which brings sustaining revenues to Northern New Mexico College for the coming years.
Again, thank you for the opportunity to serve you, and I look forward to seeing you in the coming months.
Susan Herrera, D-41
Rio Arriba, Santa Fe, Taos