SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico State Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn says his proposal to boost early childhood education funding has a better chance of approval with the election of Donald Trump as president.
Dunn is seeking support from state and federal lawmakers to transfer federal mineral rights underneath private lands to the state of New Mexico. The State Land Office would lease the subsurface holdings to oil and natural gas developers and deposit revenues in a trust fund for early childhood education.
The initiative faces resistance from ranchers and environmentalists and lacks a sponsor in the state Legislature. It also would require congressional approval.
Dunn says he has had supportive conversations with Congressman Steve Pearce of New Mexico and U.S. Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, chairman of the House committee on natural resources.