New Mexico First Town Halls

Steps in a Typical Deliberative Process

Step 1: Learn

  • Participants read a nonpartisan background report on the issue before the event begins.
  • Guest speakers share expertise.

 Step 2: Consider Options 

  • Discuss the topic, including ideal outcomes and barriers.
  • Consider different approaches and tradeoffs.

Step 3: Choose Solutions

  • Draft consensus recommendations.
  • Share recommendations.
  • Combine similar recommendations.
  • Amend recommendations.
  • Finalize recommendations

 Step 4: Advance Change 

A team of volunteers work for 12-18 months after the deliberation to educate people and lawmakers about the event’s recommendations. Activities include presentations, testimony, private sector meetings, online outreach, etc.


Each major deliberation produces a bipartisan, consensus-based policy platform. Our work focuses on:

  • Education
  • Economics
  • Natural Resources
  • Healthcare
  • Effective Institutions

Below is a sampling of policy changes that were influenced by the people and ideas of New Mexico First.

  • Passage the Childcare Accountability Act, 2018
  • Tax research legislation to inform future state tax reform proposals, 2017
  • Reducing the length of the k-12 state assessment tests, 2017
  • Working with educators to better ensure that k-12 state assessments reflect state’s culture, history and families, 2017
  • More timely communication with parents about k-12 state assessments and assessment results, 2017
  • Ethics commission constitutional amendment resolution, 2017
  • Poverty reduction memorial, gathering essential data on safety net thresholds, 2017
  • Workforce training expanded by change in eligibility requirements, 2017
  • Broadband access and funding, 2017
  • Watershed restoration fund for state lands, 2017
  • Weight of student test scores reduced in teacher evaluations, 2017
  • Agency rulemaking made consistent, 2017
  • Endorsement of statewide agricultural task force, 2017
  • Water planning appropriations, 2016
  • Retained math as essential to elementary teacher licensure, ensuring a minimum of six credit hours, 2015
  • Multiple STEM funding initiatives, including stipends for teachers in hard-to-staff areas, 2015
  • Water research funding for NM universities, including aquifer characterization and legal research, 2015
  • Funding for state and regional water planning, 2014-2015
  • Water conservation tax credits, 2015
  • New agency rule to reduce freshwater use by oil and gas industry through reuse of produced water, 2015
  • Funding for STEM education initiatives and teacher professional development, 2014
  • Legislative endorsement of STEM targets, including metrics for student and teacher improvements, 2014
  • Funding for job training incentive program (JTIP), 2014
  • Peer-to-peer substance abuse memorial, 2013
  • Early childhood development eligibility expanded, 2013
  • Expansion of Medicaid coverage, 2013
  • Economic development MainStreet frontier communities program reauthorized, 2013
  • New Mexico Chile advertising act strengthened, 2013
  • Corporate tax reduction, 2013
  • Small Business Task Force on Regulatory Reform, 2011
  • Establishment of New Mexico Mentorship Day, 2011
  • Support for Tres Amigas transmission project, 2010
  • Executive Order 2009-002 on energy development, 2009
  • Marketing support for state agricultural products, 2009
  • Healthy New Mexico Task Force, 2008
  • Medical student financial support: aid to repay loans, incentives to stay in NM, 2008
  • Alignment of high school graduation requirements with college entrance exams, 2007
  • Public Education Department Math & Science Bureau established, 2006
  • High School Reform Act, 2006
  • Small Business Regulatory Relief Act, 2005
  • Renewable Energy Act and the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit, 2002
  • Creation of the NM Tax Research Institute, 2001
  • Phase-in of full-day kindergarten, 1999
  • Inclusion of regional basin and watershed plans in the statewide watershed plans, 1998
  • Expansion of Mayor’s Youth Advisory Councils, 1996
  • Constitutional amendment of the anti-donation clause to allow public funds for economic development, 1994
  • Constitutional Convention supported, 1994
  • Restructuring of Worker’s Compensation laws, 1993
  • Ethics/campaign reporting requirements adopted, 1993
  • Enactment of the NM Mining Act, 1993
  • Creation of the NM Finance Authority and the Public Project Revolving Loan Fund, 1992
  • Enactment of Defense Conversion & Technology Act, 1992
  • Creation of State Health Policy Commission, 1991
  • Prenatal care added to Medicaid, 1991
  • Expanded of the state’s database on geology and groundwater, 1990
  • Permanent school funding task force created by legislation, 1990
  • Formation of Economic Development and Tourism Commission, 1987

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