Gas Price Relief to Come for Some UNM Students

By Brigid Driscoll / New Mexico News port

UNM students might be getting money from the state to help offset increases in the price of gas and other stuff, if Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs a package passed by the Legislature in a special session April 5.

According to a bill enacted by the state Legislature, New Mexico would distribute new payments totaling $500 for individual adults or $1,000 per household to counteract high fuel prices and rising inflation.

The Democratic-sponsored bill was forwarded to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supports the effort, after a 35-1 Senate vote. The House voted 51-13, with Democrats and some Republicans voting in favor.

Overall, roughly $700 million would be distributed to adult residents of all income levels, including elderly persons with little or no income who don’t normally file taxes and undocumented immigrants.

In the Albuquerque metro, you’ll have a hard time finding gas for less than $4 a gallon. Gas and oil prices are rising across the country, and drivers are paying the price at the pump as they search for a good bargain.

“As a college student with two jobs, I feel like I spend a large percentage of my paychecks on living expenses and gas,” UNM Economics and Psychology major Payton Fowler said while filling up at a gas station onUniversity Boulevard.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called a special session for April 5 in part to address the rising cost of gas and other commodities.

“If this is what it comes down to, the money I get would definitely be put to good use”, said student Alissia Haagenstad at the bus station on campus. 

“By working together in a special session, we can take pressure off New Mexicans who are struggling with the sudden increase in gas prices,” House Majority Whip Doreen Gallegos, D-Las Cruces, said in a press release.

New Mexico tax payers will be getting the money, so if you are a student still claimed by your parents, there is a good chance you might not see the money. 

“I have to drive 25 minutes to work every day, and gas has gotten to the point where it takes up one-fourth of every paycheck,” said non-UNM student Savannah Gonzalez as she filled her tank.  

The proposed tax rebates would be accessible to both U.S. residents and undocumented immigrants who file taxes using an IRS replacement tax identification number, according to state tax officials.

Brigid Driscoll is a reporter for New Mexico News Port and can be reached at nmnewsport@gmail.com.