capitol reports

Capitol Report – January 23, 2024

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A group of legislators are seeking a $100 million fund during the 30-day legislative session.

Jason Espinoza reports from the Roundhouse:

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This is Jason Espinoza with today’s capitol report.

A bi-partisan and bi-cameral group of legislators including, Representative Meredith Dixon, Representative Gail Armstrong, Senator Pat Woods, and Senator Pete Campos, have introduced House Bill 177—the New Mexico Match Fund.

The purpose of the fund is to make grants to eligible entities for state matching funds for federal grants and to offset higher project costs incurred to comply with federal requirements. The legislation also appropriates $100 million to the Fund for expenditure in Fiscal Year 2025 and subsequent years.

According to a public bill analysis from the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department, “There is an enormous, once-in-a-lifetime amount of federal funding currently available to states, local governments, and other public bodies for infrastructure build-out, clean energy development, workforce training, environmental remediation, and a whole host of other important functions. Over the past year, New Mexico has seen difficulty in finding the requisite ‘local match’ or ‘state match’ that many of these federal funding opportunities require. This difficulty extends from small mutual domestic associations, all the way up to large state agencies, who have not been able to have match funding appropriated in advance by the legislature. Historically, a lack of readily accessible local/state match means that New Mexico has missed out on some federal funding opportunities unnecessarily.  The New Mexico Match Fund would address this problem directly.”

The bill is scheduled to be heard today in the House Rural Development, Land Grants, and Cultural Affairs Committee.

For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Jason Espinoza

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