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Michelle Lujan Grisham is the 32nd Governor of New Mexico and was the first Democratic Hispanic woman to serve as Governor of a U.S. state. As a 12th-generation New Mexican, she has dedicated her life to serving her community while fighting for families and building an economy that works for all New Mexicans.
After graduating from the University of New Mexico’s law school, Governor Lujan Grisham worked to provide free legal services for seniors with the state bar’s lawyer referral program for the elderly. She served as director of the state agency on aging for more than a decade, pioneering innovative practices now used nationwide. In 2004, Governor Lujan Grisham was appointed Secretary of the Department of Health, where she expanded the number of school-based health centers and instituted programs to better serve New Mexico’s children and their families. She was elected to the Bernalillo County Commission in 2010, serving for two years before being elected to New Mexico’s First Congressional District in 2012.
In Congress, Governor Lujan Grisham served on the Budget Committee and the Agricultural Committee, passing legislation to help tribal communities, public schools and pay for training for law enforcement. She took on the Veterans Administration to increase veterans’ access to health care, fought for the Social Security Administration to hire more judges, and worked to clean up Albuquerque’s drinking water.
Serving as governor since 2019, Governor Lujan Grisham has led New Mexico through one of the most challenging times in the state’s history and made critical investments to move New Mexico forward.
Governor Lujan Grisham reimagined what New Mexican can be economically by investing in growing industries and creating completely new ones, like cannabis and outdoor recreation, resulting in the state’s best year for new job growth in 15 years. Fulfilling on her promise to New Mexico’s families and educators, Governor Lujan Grisham championed an education “moonshot,” investing nearly a billion dollars in New Mexico’s schools, reformed laws to make sure taxpayer dollars get to students that need it most, doubled spots for early childhood education, and gave educators their first significant year-over-year raises in years. Governor Lujan Grisham cut taxes for every New Mexican, including seniors, veterans, small businesses, and families. She made New Mexico a national leader in fighting climate change by setting bold standards and investing in clean energy, making sure New Mexico’s heritage – it’s land, air, and water – are preserved for generations to come. Sticking to her roots as an advocate for New Mexico’s working people, Governor Lujan Grisham championed paid leave for all employees in the state and raised the minimum wage for the first time in a decade.
Governor Lujan Grisham has two daughters, Taylor and Erin, three grandchildren, and two dogs. Like many New Mexicans, Governor Lujan Grisham served as a caretaker for her mother, Sonja, until 2022. When she’s not governing, Governor Lujan Grisham loves to hike, bike, fish and ride horseback across New Mexico.
Investing in Education
As a grandmother and mother, Michelle understands that New Mexico’s children are the key to New Mexico’s future. Michelle has prioritized education throughout her career in public service, fighting to ensure that every New Mexico student—no matter where they live or what their background is—has access to the high-quality education they deserve. From day one in the governor’s office, Michelle worked tirelessly to deliver an education moonshot, investing over $1 billion into New Mexico’s education system. Michelle will never stop fighting for New Mexico’s students, parents, educators, and schools.
A product of New Mexico’s public schools system, Michelle is dedicated to uplifting every student, parent, educator, and school in New Mexico. Michelle led the effort to ensure every New Mexico school has the resources they need to serve their students. She made New Mexico the first state in the nation to create an innovative way to send investments to schools with concentrated poverty and doubled the number of community schools. Michelle partnered with sovereign nations, tribes, and pueblos to make long-awaited investments in education in tribal communities and because of Michelle’s efforts, New Mexico is now leading the nation in setting aside funds for bilingual and multicultural education.
- Doubled affordable pre-k enrollment
- Delivered historic educator pay raises and thousands of hours of instructional and professional development
- Invested over $1 billion in New Mexico’s schools
- Expanded tuition-free college and certificate programs for all New Mexicans
- Incorporated parent and community feedback at every turn
In her campaign for governor, Michelle promised to be a champion for New Mexico’s educators–and she has done just that. Under Michelle’s leadership, New Mexico teachers received the most significant back-to-back raises for educators in 15 years–successfully reducing teacher vacancies by nearly 25% in 2019. This year, Michelle delivered a 7% salary increase and a base pay increase for every New Mexico educator, making New Mexico teacher wages the highest in the region. Michelle also put tens of millions of dollars toward scholarships for educator training programs, helping more than 3,000 New Mexico teachers this year alone.
New Mexicans have long called for universal pre-k and affordable child care — and Michelle delivered. Michelle expanded affordable, high quality child care to thousands of New Mexico families and secured permanent funding to ensure New Mexico will continue to provide families with affordable options for their children’s education for decades to come. Michelle established universal pre-k for four-year-olds and greatly expanded pre-k for three-year-olds.
Michelle made New Mexico a national leader in guaranteeing 100% tuition-free higher education for all New Mexico students. Michelle is eliminating barriers to higher education like student debt and burdensome fees that keep too many students—no matter their age, background, or family situation—from getting the training and the job they want and deserve. By creating and funding the Opportunity Scholarships and restoring the promise of the Lottery Scholarships, Lujan Grisham expanded scholarships for 2-year, 4-year and certificate programs, helping tens of thousands of New Mexico students attend college for free.
Growing Our Economy and Creating Jobs
Michelle is making New Mexico’s economy work for the everyday New Mexican.
Michelle’s top priority has been growing and diversifying New Mexico’s economy—because booming industry and job opportunities all across the state are critical to ensuring that New Mexico families and communities thrive. By supporting small businesses, helping to create thousands of jobs, and spurring the investment of billions of dollars in New Mexico’s economy, Michelle is delivering on her promise to grow and diversify New Mexico’s economy.
During Michelle’s tenure, New Mexico has ranked in the top 10 for job growth in the country overall. As one of her first actions in office, Michelle redesigned New Mexico’s economic development tools, which have helped create over ten thousand jobs in every corner of our state. That’s a record high for New Mexico, and with Michelle’s support it will only go higher.
Michelle has prioritized making New Mexico more business-friendly. As a result of Michelle’s leadership, exciting new companies invested heavily in New Mexico and established New Mexico partners dramatically increased their investments. Michelle cut red tape making it easier for businesses to thrive and encouraging hundreds of businesses to relocate to our state. Working alongside business and community leaders, Michelle has helped create a real pipeline of jobs and opportunity in our state—making New Mexico the frontier of economic growth under her leadership.
- Helped achieve record-high job growth
- Attracted exciting new industries like cannabis, film, and cybersecurity to New Mexico
- Invested in New Mexico’s small businesses
- Funded new opportunities for New Mexico’s workforce
Michelle isn’t just focused on attracting exciting new businesses and entrepreneurs to New Mexico, she’s also making sure we’re using New Mexico’s powerful economic tools to grow our small businesses right here at home. Michelle’s efforts have also supported the expansion of homegrown companies like Bueno Foods in Albuquerque and Saputo Dairy in Las Cruces.
Michelle kept her campaign promise to legalize cannabis, partnering with small businesses, advocates, and legislators to create an entirely new statewide economic industry in New Mexico that prioritizes homegrown microbusinesses and local producers. Thanks to Michelle, legalization will pave the way for a new economic driver in New Mexico, creating over 11,000 new jobs, raising an estimated $20 million in revenue for the state in the first year, and amounting to over $318 million in annual sales of recreational cannabis. Legal cannabis is going to create thousands of jobs and serious tax revenue for local governments to support local services in every corner of New Mexico.
With new investments in vocational training, higher education and certificate programs, Michelle is also building a workforce right here at home that will strengthen and grow New Mexico’s economy for years to come. Through New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program, Governor Lujan Grisham helped companies train over 5,000 workers while earning competitive salaries. New Mexico’s workforce is the powerhouse of our economy—which is why Michelle has made strides for workers. Michelle raised New Mexico’s minimum wage and transformed New Mexico workers’ retirement pension funds giving workers the comfort they need to ensure that when retirement comes, their pensions will be safe. She also passed legislation guaranteeing paid-sick leave for every employee in the state, giving every New Mexican the chance to make a living wage so they can support themselves and their families.
Michelle believes that every New Mexican deserves to feel safe in their community. From her first days in office, Michelle has executed an all-of-the-above approach to public safety, including addressing the root causes of crime, and ensuring law enforcement offices across New Mexico have the resources and the tools they need to keep communities safe.
In order to promote public safety, New Mexico must address the root causes of crime. That’s why Michelle has taken critical steps to reduce poverty, invest in behavioral health and addiction services, remove financial barriers to higher education and career training, and bring more jobs to New Mexico. Michelle eliminated copays on behavioral health visits, so that mental health care and addiction counseling could be affordable for New Mexicans. All of Michelle’s work to lower costs for families and workers and invest in critical services has lifted countless New Mexicans out of poverty. When New Mexicans have the resources they need to thrive, crime rates go down.
- Addressed the root causes of crime, like behavioral health issues, addiction, and poverty
- Invested in recruitment, hiring, and training for public safety officers across the state
- Funded the needs of law enforcement officers across the state
- Increased penalties for violent criminals
- Reduced the threat of gun violence with common sense actions
Michelle has been consistent in her support of the dedicated men and women who protect New Mexicans every day. Michelle knows that keeping communities safe starts with law enforcement officers who answer the call to serve their communities, doing everything from knocking on seniors homes in Chama when the power goes out during a winter storm, to cracking down on driving under the influence, to keeping violent offenders off of Albuquerque’s streets. Michelle implemented 16% raises for state police officers and made critical investments into our law enforcement, allocating over $100 million to give law enforcement in New Mexico communities– large and small–the tools they need to keep New Mexicans safe. Michelle championed funding to hire, recruit, and retain law enforcement officers, build new facilities and improve existing ones, create a new state-of-the-art crime lab, repair and replace critical protective and analytical equipment, and acquire new vehicles for law enforcement officers.
Keeping New Mexicans safe also means keeping guns out of the hands of criminals—and keeping violent offenders off our streets. For the past two years, Michelle has passed bipartisan crime legislative packages that increase the sentencing for gun crimes, particularly for felons, in order to deter gun violence. Michelle championed many measures that will save New Mexican lives and curb the scourge of gun violence; she pushed for universal background checks for gun purchases and signed legislation that allows the courts to temporarily disarm individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. While balancing the right to bear arms and public safety, Michelle is making sure fewer New Mexicans suffer from violent acts of crime.
Leading on Affordable Health Care & Public Health
Michelle knows that for far too long, New Mexicans have been forced to choose between their putting food on the table and their health. That’s why Michelle is committed to making affordable, high-quality, and comprehensive health care available to every New Mexican, from urban to rural to tribal communities. Michelle will continue to address endemic issues in New Mexico’s healthcare system in order to make accessible and affordable health care a reality for all.
Michelle understands that the best way to make health care accessible to New Mexicans is to lower the cost of care. By establishing the Health Care Affordability Fund, Michelle reduced the cost of health insurance and medical expenses for tens of thousands of New Mexico families. Michelle also took critical steps to protect safeguards under the Affordable Care Act for New Mexicans so that the 337,000 New Mexicans with preexisting conditions would never have to face a denial of coverage or higher price due to no fault of their own.
- Lowered the cost of health insurance premiums
- Cut the cost of prescription drugs
- Invested in and cut copays for behavioral health care
- Protected women’s reproductive rights
New Mexicans across the state struggle with the high cost of prescription drugs. Under Michelle, New Mexico became the third state in the country to cap monthly insulin copayments, lowering health care costs for New Mexicans living with diabetes. Michelle also signed legislation to allow New Mexico to import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada, one of the first states in the country to do so. These health care measures will get New Mexicans the medicine they need at a cost they can afford.
Michelle believes that health care is not comprehensive without affordable, high-quality behavioral health treatment. From day one, Michelle has taken decisive action to rebuild the state’s behavioral health system after it was fraudulently destroyed by the Martinez administration. In addition to working with providers to establish new services and new networks, Michelle eliminated copays for behavioral health services, making sure behavioral health is affordable and accessible to all New Mexicans.
Every woman and every New Mexican deserves access to reproductive health care—that’s why Michelle will continue to be a champion for women’s health care. In 2021, Michelle made history by repealing New Mexico’s 50-year-old criminal abortion statute, protecting New Mexicans access to abortion and ensuring women and their families have the right to make their own choices about pregnancy and reproductive health. Michelle also funded the expansion of postpartum coverage under Medicaid from 60 days to 12 months, guaranteeing New Mexico’s new mothers can focus on themselves and their babies in the first year of life. In 2022, Michelle signed legislation eliminating the “tampon tax,” ensuring necessary feminine hygiene products are affordable. With Michelle as governor, New Mexico remains a safe haven for reproductive health care and women’s rights.
As a caregiver herself, Michelle personally knows the importance of—and the strength and resilience it takes—to provide for New Mexico’s seniors. Michelle signed legislation to invest millions to improve and deliver high quality services for New Mexico’s seniors and create automatic low-cost retirement savings options.
Protecting Our Air, Land, and Water
Michelle understands that climate change is an existential threat facing our planet and we cannot kick the can down the road to future generations. Michelle has taken decisive action to protect New Mexico’s land, air, and water, and she will continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis, create clean energy jobs, and protect the Land of Enchantment’s critical natural resources. Under Michelle’s leadership, New Mexico has become a national leader in the fight against climate change and now countries across the globe are looking to New Mexico for leadership.
As one of her first acts in office, Michelle signed landmark energy legislation setting bold statewide renewable energy standards and establishing a pathway for a low-carbon energy transition. Michelle joined New Mexico to the U.S. Climate Alliance and adopted the goals of the Paris Climate Accord. Michelle also committed New Mexico to conserving 30% of all land by 2030, ensuring New Mexicans’ access to the open spaces the Land of Enchantment is known for. With every step, Michelle has protected New Mexico’s natural resources, increased access for outdoor recreation, and built the state’s climate change resilience.
- Set bold statewide renewable energy standards
- Established a pathway for a low-carbon energy transition
- Went after polluters by ending routine venting and flaring
- Committed to conserve 30% of New Mexico’s land by 2030
- Grew New Mexico’s wind and solar economies
Throughout her tenure, Michelle has aggressively pursued polluters and established rules that will reduce harmful emissions and create even more jobs through detecting and capping gas leaks that harm our air. By adopting stringent methane reduction rules, Michelle eliminated clean venting and flaring in New Mexico and committed the state to capturing 98% of all natural gas waste by the end of 2026. Under Michelle, New Mexico now has the most controlled greenhouse and methane requirements in the country.
Michelle is putting New Mexico at the forefront of the clean energy industry that will produce good jobs and a bright future for New Mexicans. Since Michelle took office, New Mexico has more than doubled its wind energy capacity and is one of the largest economies for solar energy
Saving Money for Families and Businesses
Michelle believes that as governor, the most important aspect of her job is making sure New Mexicans have what they need to thrive. That’s why Michelle has delivered for New Mexico’s families and businesses—putting money directly into their pockets and addressing the issues they care about most. From cutting the state Gross Receipts tax and the Social Security tax, to passing tax credits for New Mexico’s middle class, to lowering the cost of everyday needs like prescription drugs and child care, Michelle is saving money for every New Mexican.
Michelle is making a difference by making sure that families prosper. Michelle cut taxes for New Mexico’s middle class in one of the most comprehensive tax overhauls in the country, putting money in the pockets of more than 550,000 New Mexican families. Michelle is leading the way with the most significant and progressive reform of the tax code in a generation, creating meaningful change for average New Mexicans.
- Cut taxes for 550,000 working families
- Cut the GRT, saving money for businesses
- Cut taxes on social security, helping New Mexico’s seniors
- Lowered everyday costs from prescriptions drugs to childcare
Michelle isn’t just helping families–she also cut taxes for every single New Mexican and New Mexico business. This year, Michelle brought Republicans and Democrats together to implement the first Gross Receipts Tax cut in 40 years, saving New Mexicans $195 million in the first year alone. She also signed legislation repealing most Social Security taxes to get relief straight to New Mexico’s seniors, saving them an average of $730 per year.
Making sure New Mexicans feel relief and can thrive is about more than tax cuts– it’s also about making everyday items and services affordable. That’s why Michelle raised New Mexico’s minimum wage for the first time in a decade and guaranteed paid sick leave for all New Mexican workers – so no New Mexican would ever have to quit their jobs due to a medical emergency. She also cut the cost of prescription drugs, reduced premiums, and eliminated copays for behavioral health. Michelle also implemented universal pre-k and ensured every New Mexican who wants to go to college or a certificate training program can do so – for free. Michelle even helped families in need cover their utility bills by getting homeowners the assistance they need Michelle is helping all New Mexicans grow right here in our state.