Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Did the NM Legislature fund my program? See a list of 360 projects in 2024 state budget

The New Mexico Legislature this year spent more than $320 million on hundreds of local projects requested by lawmakers and 16 select pilot programs that will get three years of funding to determine whether they are effective.

The “Government Results and Opportunity Project Fund” is the newly created home for statewide pilot programs and projects funded through what was formerly known as the “junior” supplemental appropriations bill. 

In addition to the $320.6 million in smaller projects laid out in the budget to be funded over the next three years, state lawmakers deposited an additional $512.2 million into a new trust fund overseen by the New Mexico State Investment Council.

That additional money will be invested and is expected to grow and continue to fund projects beyond three years from now.

Funding local projects this way was a recommendation from the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, which touted the trust fund is a way to make future use of the roughly $3.5 billion surplus the state enjoyed this year while also reining in the spending on state programs that might end up failing. 

The “junior” appropriations process has been criticized in the past for lack of transparency. It was, until recently, difficult to learn which lawmaker sponsored which project. The state Department of Finance and Administration recently published a detailed list of “junior” appropriations between fiscal years 2021 and 2024. The fiscal year 2025 projects are listed below. 

Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces), the chair of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, sponsored House Bill 196, which created the funds. It was endorsed by the New Mexico Finance Committee and passed the Senate on Wednesday, Feb. 14. One benefit of the new process, he said at the hearing, is increased evaluation and accountability for state spending.

The portion of the new funding not being invested is paying for 15 three-year pilot projects in multiple state agencies. It also funds 344 small projects requested by lawmakers and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that will be funded for the next two years. 

Search the list of projects

The 16 pilot projects cost $216 million over the next three years. Those projects range in cost from $1.5 million, including for suicide prevention training, to $60 million, which will pay tuition and fees for students getting workforce training classes at some state colleges. 

The small projects cost $104.6 million over the next two years. Most of those projects cost between $160,00 and $200,000, though some are several million dollars. 

The 344 projects being funded with that money will pay for a wide range of programs, including marketing for a bicycle race in Silver City, more funding for an Albuquerque food bank, civil legal services across the state and more. 

See a searchable list below. The list does not include the lawmakers who sponsored each project, because Lujan Grisham has not yet signed the budget into law, according to legislative staff. Source New Mexico will update the list with lawmaker names as soon as they are released. 

But, in the meantime, you can search projects by keyword, and sort by agency, county and amount awarded. 

 

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