ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The representatives for New Mexico’s three congressional districts are requesting more than $100 million in federal funds for their communities. They say the cash is needed across the state.
“Our budget is a statement of our values, that’s why I’m especially proud to work with local leaders and partners to bring home much-needed federal investments,” Rep. Gabe Vasquez said in a press release. “From Isleta Pueblo to Carlsbad to Columbus, the projects I’m proposing help support our law enforcement officers, keep our constituents safe in the event of natural disasters, and ensure my constituents have access to clean water.”
It’s not just Vasquez’s constituents who could get federal funds. Rep. Melanie Stansbury and Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez have also asked for millions in funding.
The cash, if approved in the federal budget for the fiscal year 2024, would go to 45 projects around the state. The biggest would be $16.6 million for a child development center for the Pueblo of Sandia. That project, requested by Stansbury, would allow the pueblo’s students to get a real building instead of portable classrooms, according to Stansbury’s office.
Other big projects include cash for a new fire station in Peralta, better wastewater treatment for Bayard, and improvements to I-10 in Grant County.
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While infrastructure is a key focus, lawmakers also requested funds for law enforcement equipment, money to address homelessness, and even more than $1.6 million for an animal shelter for the Navajo Nation – Teresa Leger Fernandez’s office says a new shelter could save taxpayers more than $1 million each year by cutting down on the number of dogs that bite humans.
New Mexico’s congressional representatives are allowed to make these sorts of community fund requests each year. But for the southern portion of the state, in Congressional District 2, this year’s requests will be the first requests made, at least in some time.
Before Gabe Vasquez took over, Yvette Herrell represented New Mexico’s southern counties. Herrell apparently made no requests for community projects for fiscal year 2022 or 2023 – the House Committee on Appropriations list no project requests for Herrell.