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New Mexico asks federal permission for child spending

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Most of New Mexico's congressional delegation has asked Capitol Hill for permission to invest more money into early childhood programs from its resource wealth endowment.

Sen. Martin Heinrich and Rep. Melanie Stansbury are sponsoring the bill requesting permission that the change be allowed. The state needs permission from the federal government due to a colonial-era law. There's another hurdle, too. Voters have to approve the measure, which will be on the ballot next fall.

If approved by voters and Congress, it would increase withdrawals from the $25 billion fund by 1.25% and beneficiaries including young children. Supporters say it would reduce child poverty.