Legislature OKs $180M in capital outlay projects

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By Special to the Monitor

There have been years in which there was much more money for brick-and-mortar projects in the state.

But thanks to a rebound in gas and oil revenues, New Mexico has far more severance tax funds this year than last. And that means a lot more money for roads, senior centers, sewage plants and government buildings around the state, including a new state vital records bureau building in Santa Fe, as well as an expansion of the municipal airport’s parking facility.

Lawmakers approved House Bill 306, which authorizes $179.8 million for capital projects.

This includes $142.4 million from severance tax bonding capacity, about $36.3 million from other state funds and almost $1.1 million from the state general fund.

More than $20 million is available for Santa Fe-area projects, though nearly $6.2 million of that would go toward a settlement in the decades-old federal Aamodt water rights case.