According to reports, roughly 40% of all libraries in New Mexico are still lacking adequate broadband access.
Now $9.5 million in funding for library facility upgrades across the state will be made available to address that shortcoming, depending upon the success of General Obligation Bond B in the November election.
Originally passed by the New Mexico State Legislature last winter and subsequently approved by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the bond question is one of a package of three general obligation bonds for public facility work on the fall ballot.
What is also known as the Public Libraries Bond Issue will allocate $3 million for the state’s Cultural Affairs Department, $3 million to the Higher Education Department, and $3 million to the Public Education Department.
Another $500,000 will go directly for tribal library upgrades.
That funding will pay primarily for broadband construction as well as service upgrades at academic, public, and school libraries.
The $9.5 million bond is significantly lower than the $17.5 million originally requested to the legislature by the New Mexico Library Association, representing the state’s various libraries.
By Garry Boulard
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