There are four constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot. We support all of them and recommend you do, too.
The first, Constitutional Amendment 1, would repeal Article 2, Section 22 of the state constitution—an antiquated racist provision intended to keep Asians from owning property in New Mexico. You can read a thorough analysis of it in Eric Griego’s column [Punch Line, “For Sale: Land and Property. Whites Only.” Oct. 19-25].
Constitutional Amendment 2 would amend the state constitution to allow the state and school districts (including charter schools) to lease or purchase buildings and other property. There’s no real harm that can come from such an amendment, and it could be a financial boon for state schools, which spend approximately $5 million a year leasing classroom space.
Constitutional Amendment 3, if approved, would add a section to the state constitution calling for the creation of a water trust fund. The problem with the amendment is it doesn’t require an appropriation of money to the fund—and without enough dollars, it would be useless. But establishing the trust fund can’t hurt anything, and it might cajole policy makers to allocate more resources to water issues.
Lastly, Constitutional Amendment 4 would allow the state, counties and municipalities to pay part of the cost of land, buildings or other necessary financing for affordable housing projects. The state constitution already permits those entities to “donate” money to infrastructure that supports such projects; this amendment simply takes the next step.