Governor signs capital financing

CNJ STAFF and WIRE REPORTS

When Gov. Bill Richardson signed measures into law on Wednesday to finance $485 million in capital improvements across New Mexico, $14 million in projects he cut using his line-item veto powers included money that had been destined for Clovis and Curry County.
Funds of $250,000 set aside to renovate a facility for the adult detention center in Curry County got the ax, as did $50,000 to plan, design, purchase and install refrigeration and other equipment at the Life Saver Food Bank in Clovis.
Funding for improvements to help bring in the Southwest Cheese Plant, including $1 million for improvements to County Road 4; $70,000 to plan, design and construct a road for the cheese plant; and $1.5 million to purchase land for and develop, construct, install and equip the expansion of the wastewater treatment facility and infrastructure in Clovis all won approval, according to the 461-page House Bill 293, as approved by Richardson.
Local lawmakers contacted Wednesday evening had not yet learned the fates of their particular capital outlay requests.
“I should know something about midmorning,” said state Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales. “I have some folks who will get that stuff to me pretty quick.”
State Rep. Anna Crook, R-Clovis, said she also had not heard final details on which items Richardson approved and which he had line-item vetoed. However, she said, “This is the most we’ve had in capital outlays, I think. I know personally this has been the most that I have obtained in capital outlays.”
One measure approved by the governor allocates $121 million in general obligation bond proceeds for capital projects ranging from senior citizen centers to university buildings and classrooms for full-day kindergarten programs. However, the bonds must be approved by voters in the November general election.
Another measure, after the $14 million in vetoes, provides nearly $364 million for thousands of projects. The projects are financed with money from the state’s cash reserves, proceeds from bonds backed by severance taxes and other earmarked state monies.
As signed, the measure allocates $12 million for various commuter rail projects from the Belen and Albuquerque areas to Santa Fe; $10 million for a film training center, the location of which has not been selected; $10 million for technical-vocational centers to serve high school and charter school students and rural areas; $10 million to fund innovative water projects; $3 million for renovations and an addition to the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.
‘‘These investments will result in better neighborhood schools, more stable supplies of clean water, modernized college campuses and major community projects throughout the state,’’ Richardson said in a statement.

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Information on the Net
HB293 with vetoes on secretary of state’s Web site:

http://www.sos.state.nm.us/Pdf/Chapter126.pdf

Legislature:

http://legis.state.nm.us/