Gov. Susana Martinez
Wednesday, Gov. Susana Martinez signed capital outlay legislation that includes $45 million for major, critical highway infrastructure projects, which will create jobs in the short-term and lay a stronger foundation for long-term economic growth.
Among other things, this money will go toward repairing, resurfacing, and expanding New Mexico’s roads and highways, many of which are unsafe, failing, and impeding economic growth.
“Far too many of our roads are dangerous, and they are in dire need of repair. By signing this legislation, we will not only make our roads and highways safer for our families, but we will also create jobs and help lay the groundwork to continue growing our economy,” Martinez said. “Our roads and highways serve as the literal foundation for commerce. When we invest in major highway projects, we are creating jobs and making it easier to develop and grow our economy.”
Martinez made the announcement in Las Cruces and will later highlight the bill in Santa Teresa, a focal point of New Mexico’s growing leadership in international commerce and trade. The legislation includes more than $8 million for critical highway infrastructure improvements in and around Santa Teresa’s booming borderplex.
Passed during the recent special legislative session, this year’s capital outlay bill prioritizes spending on infrastructure projects throughout the state, including $45 million for major, critical road and highway construction. This funding will provide an infusion of state dollars that will allow New Mexico to partner with local and federal agencies to complete large-scale projects with benefits that are regional or statewide in scope.
“The capital outlay bill should be a job-creation bill. It should be an infrastructure bill. A construction bill. An economic-driver bill. A bill that puts New Mexicans to work,” Governor Martinez said. “When we invest in infrastructure, we create jobs — lots of them — in every corner of the state. And we achieve critical, lasting objectives. That’s exactly what this capital outlay bill aims to do.”
In total, the bill contains more than $70 million for highways and roads across the state, including local projects.
In addition to prioritizing spending for transportation infrastructure projects, the bill also expands New Mexico’s closing fund by $12.5 million, to a total of $50 million, up from nearly zero when Martinez took office. Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) funding is a critical resource for recruiting new businesses to the state, and helping those that are already here to expand and grow. It provides access to funds for local communities to make infrastructure upgrades or improvements to ensure they can support new and expanding businesses. Expansion of this funding is a step forward in growing New Mexico’s economy.
This year’s capital bill also contains funding to improve and expand facilities throughout the state that help keep New Mexico’s communities healthy and safe, such as hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and community clinics.
For example, it provides funding to improve the Meadows Skilled Nursing Facility at New Mexico’s Behavioral Health Institute in Las Vegas. This is an important long-term care facility offering medical services and physical and occupational therapy. The capital bill also provides funding for law enforcement training facilities and offices, key upgrades at correctional facilities and state hospitals, and funding for continued improvements to water infrastructure and watersheds throughout the state.
Altogether, Governor Martinez authorized funding for $211 million in severance tax bonds projects, $30 million in general fund projects, and $52.7 million in projects using other state funds, while vetoing only $1.1 million in projects