A bill providing funding for hundreds of individual capital projects has passed the New Mexico House of Representatives on a 68 to 0 vote.
The measure had been earlier overwhelmingly approved in the Senate.
Providing money for projects specifically designed by state agencies, Senate Bill 280 will fund everything from water system upgrades to the renovation of both state and local government buildings, as well as new public safety equipment.
Appropriations in the newest legislation include $33 million for the completion of the Department of Public Safety’s evidence and crime lab facility in Santa Fe, and $29 million for renovations to the Children, Youth, and Families Department’s Child Wellness Center in Albuquerque.
Also included is $16 million for improvements and repairs to correctional facilities across the state; $9.9 million for upgrading Department of Health buildings; and a hefty $20 million for an array of energy efficiency and renewable energy infrastructure improvements to state government buildings throughout New Mexico.
According to an analysis of the measure by the Legislative Finance Committee, the bill reflects a current unprecedented level of revenue received by New Mexico due to “historically high oil and gas production.”
That production, continues the analysis, has presented the state with an “opportunity to cash-finance capital projects rather than relying on bonding.”
By Garry Boulard
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