SANTA FE ― The New Mexico House of Representatives passed House Joint Memorial 4 (HJM 4), which calls for the creation of a new interim committee that would accomplish two goals:
Shine a light on all state infrastructure projects to ensure that taxpayer dollars are being spent efficiently on these endeavors; and
Examine state’s capital outlay structure and propose recommendations on how to improve it.
“Just last year, our State Auditor’s Office produced a report showing approximately $1.8 billion in taxpayer money that was earmarked for infrastructure projects around the state and we have no idea as to whether those dollars have been spent or if those dollars can be used to possibly help with our current budget deficit,” Rep. Damon Ely said. “Our state is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. We are facing record levels of unemployment and an economy that is completely stagnant. We need to reevaluate how we spend our money. We cannot afford to have potentially billions of dollars sit in a bank account, that should be used to create jobs and economic development. Our Governor has put this state in a position where our people are fleeing this state in order to find work and start new businesses. It now falls on the legislature to address this problem and get New Mexicans back to work.”
House Joint Memorial 4 now heads to the Senate to be heard and voted on. If approved by the Senate, the interim committee will go into effect this year and will have recommendations and proposed legislation on how to reform our capital outlay process as early as the 2018 legislative session.