SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The bill that decides which projects get funded around the state and how much they’ll get has reached the governor’s desk. The Capital Outlay contains pages and pages full of projects with a total cost of more than a billion dollars.
This is what lawmakers are working for throughout the session: funding for projects in their districts. Everything from fixing up little league fields and libraries to building schools and a Navajo Code Talker Museum.
“It represents approximately 2,888 projects that are individual projects of legislators and the governor in the statewide projects,” says Senator Nancy Rodriguez (D-Santa Fe.)
As usual, schools account for a lot of spending in this bill. For example, $70 million are going towards career and technical education and pre-K facilities; along with more than $50 million for school security measures and new school buses.
The priciest item we could find was a $68 million allocation for a new forensics unit at the New Mexico Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas. That’s where the courts send people incompetent to stand trial—many of them accused of dangerous crimes.
Courts also get a big slice of the pie: tens of millions for courthouse upgrades.”$448 million for statewide projects, state agency, judicial and higher education for example. But then you have 350 million for projects sponsored by individual house and senate members. And then 100 million for tribal projects,” Rodriguez says, among other sources.
Some other interesting stand-alone items in this bill include a $6 million appropriation to improve lighting at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds. Then, there are pages and pages of local projects; things like park and facility improvements and road projects.
Lawmakers are also looking at extending the deadlines on three hundred projects funded over the last five years; many of which are stalled or are now underfunded due to inflation, the labor shortage, and supply chain issues.
For a full list of what’s coming to your area, click here.