ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico leaders sat down to discuss the local impacts of President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Tuesday. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan as well as Mayor Tim Keller spoke about how Albuquerque plans to use the relief funding.

Mayor Keller says the funding will help the city avoid cuts in critical services like police, fire, and transportation. “With this funding, we are going to be able to keep feeding hundreds of thousands of seniors, we are going to be able to keep our bus services open which we found out are critical for people getting healthcare,” said Keller. He says the funding will be built into the city budget.

The money will also go toward continuing programs like rental assistance and hosting vaccination sites. Keller says he thinks the money will allow the city to ride out the rest of the pandemic.

“This funding is going to get us through fall, get us through to the winter, and then I think we’re going to see Albuquerque really come out ahead when you think of our economic development programs we have in place, whether it’s Netflix or Orion,” said Keller.

In total, the metro area is expecting about $300 million from the relief plan with about $114 million going directly to the City of Albuquerque. Statewide, more money will go towards better broadband access and helping to safely reopen schools, and helping restaurants.