New Mexico’s graduation requirements bill has made it across the stage.

But it’s not time to move the tassel quite yet.

House Bill 171, a measure to update graduation requirements for the state’s high schoolers, passed the state Senate on a 40-0 vote Wednesday, becoming the second bill to clear the Roundhouse after the exception of House Bill 1, an administrative measure that funds the Legislature.

The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for the final signature.

The measure has been in the making for some time, and sponsors have billed it as a way to bring more flexibility and choice to students in their path through high school. That includes incorporating more career-technical education options for students to help them learn skills needed for jobs after high school.

If signed by the governor, the bill would apply to students entering the ninth grade in the 2025-2026 school year.

“It’s very exciting,” said sponsor Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque. “… There’s been shifting workforce needs. We have a real desire to bring career-technical education into everyday lives of students in our high schools. They want it, their parents want it and the districts want it.”

HB 171 is a renewed version of a bill from the last legislative session that passed both the House and Senate but ultimately fell to the governor’s veto pen. That said, the governor’s office has said it worked with the bill’s sponsors and the Legislative Education Study Committee in amending the bill.

This time around, sponsor Rep. G Andrés Romero, D-Albuquerque, has said he believes the most substantive of the governor’s concerns has been alleviated by resetting the minimum number of units high schoolers must complete back from 22 to 24, the current minimum.

Education Secretary Arsenio Romero on Wednesday also said the New Mexico Public Education Department was also able to work on the bill during the interim, adding, “I do believe that we’ll be able to move forward and support” as the measure stood.

Aside from the governor’s office, HB 171 has also faced pushback from advocates at just about every level in the Roundhouse who say high schoolers should have to take a stand-alone financial literacy course.

Sponsors have pointed out that HB 171 would allow students to take financial literacy to satisfy a number of requirements, that the course must be offered at every high school, and that the required government and economics course incorporates personal financial literacy.

Still, some have argued the measure should formally require a financial literacy course that stands on its own, in part because students need more time with the subject than embedding it might afford.

“Financial literacy classes are not math or social studies. Financial literacy classes include math and social studies. But they are a lot more than that,” said Sen. William Sharer, R-Farmington.

Sen. William Soules, D-Las Cruces, said that “nobody is against students having financial literacy,” but that an additional requirement may present problems for some students.

“Every extra requirement means there will be some students who will not graduate on time,” he said.

On Wednesday, Sen. Martin Hickey, D-Albuquerque, introduced a floor amendment to require a half-unit of financial literacy. The floor amendment mirrored another amendment that failed in the Senate Education Committee on Monday.

And while the floor amendment received some bipartisan support, it was narrowly defeated by a vote of 19-22.