SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced new administration staff who will focus on state priorities including broadband, infrastructure, and water. Among the new appointees, is former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez who will be serving as the infrastructure advisor to ensure the implementation of the federal infrastructure bill that is set to provide New Mexico with $3.7 billion in funding. The bill gives a trillion-dollar boost to repair roadways and public transit while expanding access to broadband internet and clean drinking water.
Mike Hamman was also announced as the water advisor and has a decades-long career in the field including his current position as the chief engineer and chief executive officer of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District. His former work includes his position at the Bureau of Reclamation managing federal water projects and his work on the Interstate Stream Commission. According to a news release from the Office of the Governor, Hamman will work with federal, tribal, estate, and local agencies to make sure the state water infrastructure is prepared for the effects of climate change and to develop conservative water management practices.
The governor also announced Matt Schmit as the broadband advisor to the new state Office of Broadband Access and Expansion. The new office will coordinate broadband activities across New Mexico’s government agencies, local governmental bodies, tribal governmental organizations, and internet service providers.
Schmit served as director of the Illinois Office of Broadband since 2019 and previously worked as an independent technology and economic development consultant at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.
The Office of the Governor states that in his position, Schmit will develop a three-year broadband operational and strategic plan that will provide principles and criteria for broadband development and expansion in the state. His work is expected to begin in December.
On Wednesday, the state’s top health officials provided an update on New Mexico’s COVID-19 response.