Land Commissioner Ray Powell made a half-billion dollars for public education last year. Wow.

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It’s not often reported but the State Land Office, led by the elected land commissioner, is responsible for managing public lands in a wag that generates the biggest benefits for New Mexicans.

Today, land Commish Ray Powell announced a record month for December: 79+ million.

What else? Last year his office generated a half-billion dollars for public education. Wow.

If only Governor Martinez would put all those dollars (our dollars) into classrooms instead of into the pockets of for-profit education testing companies. Sigh.

Back to the good news from the Land Office:


State Land Office Earns $670 million in 2013 for Public Schools, Universities and Hospitals

Record $79 Million in December

(SANTA FE, New Mexico) – In the month of December, the New Mexico State Land Office earned
$79.2 million for the beneficiaries of the state land trust. This is the highest month in the history of the State Land Office, surpassing October 2008 at $73.4 million in revenue. The State Land Office earned a total of over $670 million in calendar year 2013 for the beneficiaries.

“This $670 million is critically important in supporting New Mexico’s public schools, universities, and hospitals,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Ray Powell. “We are working collaboratively with the private sector, our sovereign tribes, our local, state, and federal agencies, and our local communities to create jobs for New Mexicans while taking care of the health of our working trust lands.”

The New Mexico State Land Office is responsible for managing state trust lands to generate income for
22 beneficiaries and for taking care of the lands so they are healthy and productive for the future.

The revenue in 2013 was distributed to beneficiaries as follows:

• More than $597 million went to support public schools in New Mexico.

• More than $21.7 million went to state colleges and universities.

• More than $16.3 million went to special schools, such as the School for the Blind and
Visually Impaired, in Alamogordo, and the School for the Deaf, in Santa Fe.

• Almost $12.4 million went to hospitals, including Miner’s Colfax Hospital in Raton, and special hospitals like Carrie Tingley Hospital in Albuquerque.

• The remaining $22.4 million went to other institutions, including the State Penitentiary and public buildings, water reservoirs, Rio Grande Improvements, and other beneficiaries.

Revenues from nonrenewable use of the trust lands, such as the royalties from oil and natural gas extraction, are deposited into the Land Grant Permanent Fund. They are invested and a percentage of the fund is paid to the beneficiaries.