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Students at Eastern New Mexico University gave their opinion about a recent proposed bill that
would increase gasoline prices in New Mexico. The bill was blocked by legislators on a key
House committee on Feb. 10, 2020.
If the bill had passed, gasoline prices may have increased to further structure other projects in
New Mexico. According to the Albuquerque Journal website this project would have helped
raise money to improve road conditions, transportation investments that support a “clean”
environment, and help low income New Mexicans by giving tax rebates. Albuquerque Journal
said that the tax rebates would come from the estimated $300 million that this new bill would
have created from revenues. In attempts of reducing the pollution and fixing the road conditions,
New Mexico would leap from their current gasoline tax of 17 cents to 47 cents a gallon.
Kristen Baca, a sophomore at ENMU, agreed that increasing taxes on gasoline would improve
pollution conditions. When she had learned about the intense increase of what the gasoline tax
could be, she said, “If we can reduce pollution and improve the roads, then I personally don’t see
a problem with that.” She stated that she thought it was a good idea considering the
circumstances of the bill. “Having to pay more for gas, and I’m also sure improving roads would
mean construction which could be inconvenient, but I think it could be worth the cost.” She also
mentioned that she believes over time improving roads and reducing pollution can eventually
ENMU junior Christen Laumbach said, “I like the idea of improving the roads and giving back
to the community, but the increase gas seems too much.” Although the increase of gas would be
somewhere around 47 cents per gallon, the price would rise within the next couple of years.
Laumbach also said that, “I’m someone who drives back home a lot…and it would get too pricy
to do that anymore.” She mentioned that although it would become more expensive to drive
places people are still going to do it. “We live in a gigantic state where it can take miles to get
someplace and you usually only have the choice to drive.”
According to the Albuquerque Journal as of now the bill to increase gasoline prices was tabled
and not passed. There was a 14-1 vote from the House Appropriations and Finance Committee,
which means that this bill has not made it to the full House of representatives for consideration.