House Passes Critical Funding Bills with Broad Bipartisan Support in Productive Day
Bills would increase resources for public projects, raise judicial salaries, and extend disability benefits for New Mexicans across the state
Santa Fe, N.M. - Today, the House of Representatives approved several bills providing critical funding for projects and initiatives in communities statewide, with strong bipartisan support.
House Bill 232, which passed unanimously, would create an Infrastructure Planning and Development Division within the Department of Finance and Administration. The division would focus on rural equity, helping local and tribal governments secure funding for infrastructure developments. HB 232 is sponsored by Rep. Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque), House Minority Caucus Leader Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena), and Rep. Day Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque).
“By streamlining the process to get shovel-ready projects off the ground and supporting them through completion, the Infrastructure Planning and Development Division will help us put state and federal dollars to work for communities across New Mexico,” said Rep. Dixon.
House Bill 196, which passed with a bipartisan vote of 39-28, would create a new Government Results and Opportunity (GRO) expendable trust. Excess revenues from the state’s General Fund would be redistributed to this new trust, then New Mexico lawmakers could use these funds to invest in local governments, statewide agencies, or pilot projects in need of supplemental funding. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces).
House Bill 253 would amend the state’s Severance Tax Bonding Act to provide additional Capital Outlay funds for all state lawmakers to allocate to critical infrastructure, education, or other public projects in their local communities. It passed unanimously and is sponsored by Rep. Small and Rep. Derrick Lente (D-Sandia Pueblo).
House Bill 148 would authorize the New Mexico Finance Authority to provide loans or grants from the state’s Water Project Fund to qualifying projects in communities across the state. It passed with unanimous approval. The bipartisan sponsors of this bill include Reps. Susan Herrera (D-Embudo), Kathleen Cates (D-Rio Rancho),Anthony Allison (D-Fruitland), Martin Zamora (R-Clovis), Andrea Reeb (R-Clovis), and House Minority Caucus Leader Gail Armstrong (R-Magdalena).
House Bill 141 would provide salary increases to New Mexico Supreme Court Justices, as well as Court of Appeals and District Court judges to bring their salaries more in line with other states. It also passed unanimously and is sponsored by Rep. Day Hochman-Vigil (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), and House Minority Leader Ryan Lane (R-Aztec).
The House also passed House Bill 98 which would extend the age for individuals with disabilities to qualify for a tax-advantaged Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) savings account from 26 to 46. House Bill 98 is sponsored by Rep. Liz Thomson (D-Albuquerque) and passed unanimously.
All of these bills now head to the Senate.
The Roundhouse is open to the public for the 2024 session. Members of the public can also view floor sessions and committee meetings on the New Mexico Legislature’s Webcasts tab, and provide comment via phone or Zoom as directed on the daily schedule.