On Tuesday, Feb. 21, the state House of Representatives passed House Joint Memorial 4 to establish an Infrastructure Funding Interim Committee (IFIC) in a 35-33 vote.
HJM 4, sponsored by Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), creates an interim committee to study the state’s public infrastructure funding systems and to propose measures for reform.
“We need to get New Mexicans back to work,” said Ely. “We have too much money sitting idle while it could be spent on improving our roads, bridges and other crucial projects that effect our state’s economy and create jobs.”
According to the State Auditor Tim Keller, as of 2017 approximately $969 million from all funding sources for 2,472 projects remains outstanding. The IFIC would review and move these dormant funds to shovel-ready infrastructure projects, boosting economic activity, creating jobs, improving public safety, and increasing the quality of infrastructure and public buildings.
The interim committee would consist of members of the legislature, legislative council and members of the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC), and would be staffed by the Legislative Council Service and LFC for two years beginning in 2017.
Currently there exists $127 million of earmarked fund balances for water ($58.2 million), colonias ($35.5 million), and tribal ($33.3 million) infrastructure projects and approximately $302.5 million remains outstanding for supplemental severance tax bonds for public schools.
HJM 4 will be heard next in the Senate.