State departments submit budget wish lists

Politics - Government

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – State agencies are putting in their budget requests during this economic crisis to cover everything from public safety needs to helping the elderly and addressing climate change. Groups presented their biggest needs Tuesday to the influential Legislative Finance Committee.

“Global warming CO2 emissions are real and electric vehicles, I think are the right way to go to help do our part in battling climate change,” said Ken Ortiz the New Mexico General Services Secretary.

The General Services Department is looking to buy 28 more electric vehicles for $1 million dollars to add to its existing fleet of 33 being used by state agencies. GSD has nearly 30 charging stations in Santa Fe for use by government and privately-owned electric vehicles. In all, GSD is proposing a nearly $552 million budget, down slightly from last year.

Meanwhile, the Aging and Long Term Services Department is requesting a slight budget hike, up to $52.5 million as they serve a rising number of people with various services like grab-and-go meals for the elderly. “By 2030, it’s estimated that we are going to be the fourth highest populated state per capita of residents 65 and older and so our needs are going to continue to increase,” said Katrina Hotrum-Lopez of Aging and Long Term Services Department.

Lastly, the understaffed Department of Public Safety is asking for $153 million, down a tick from last year. The department wants to use $6.5 million of that to pay for increases for state police officers and dispatchers and for recruitment efforts.

The DPS funding request also includes money for nearly 200 new police vehicles, 80 body cameras and dashcam systems, a new bomb team robot, and technology to help reconstruct crash and crime scenes.

Local Politics/Government News

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