Schools across New Mexico could receive new funding for a series of security enhancement projects if Governor Susana Martinez agrees to a bill that was unanimously passed in the state legislature.
The legislation as proposed by Senator George Munoz sets up a 4-year grant program that school districts will be able to draw upon to fund new facility security projects as well as renovating and repairing existing systems.
The program, which will be funded at the $10 million level for each of the next four years, would allow school districts to submit their facility security needs to the state’s Public School Capital Outlay Council.
That council would then determine, weighing requests from other districts, which projects are most in need and likely to be funded.
The legislation passed in the House by a 65 to 0 vote and in the Senate by 40 to 0.
Although school security needs are included in the normal budget requests of districts, the new legislation would allow for a more streamlined process of obtaining funding.
According to the requirements of the legislation, school districts receiving funding for any given security project would have to spend the allocation within three fiscal years before it would be returned to the Public School Capital Outlay Council fund.
Governor Martinez is expected to announce her decision on the legislation during the first week of March.
By Garry Boulard
Timely, reliable news since 1949