Proposal to place public cash in direction of family infrastructure initiatives advances

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) – State legislators want to help people get internet, water and sewer pipes into their homes by paying for them. The state is currently not allowed to do this. Proponents for this said it would help many New Mexicans get into the 21st century because many of them don’t have or have running water Internet access.

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“The intent is to use this change to meet those very essential needs and then implement laws that define the scope of the programs. You can approve projects,” said Christine Chandler MP (D-Los Alamos). “You may or may not create a fund, that’s all that needs to be determined at our next meeting as we move forward.”

Joint House Resolution 9 would allow public money to flow into household infrastructures such as internet access, electricity, natural gas, water, sewage and other services. It would be aimed at low-income New Mexicans. There is also a chance that people could seek financial aid for major repairs to their water, sewer or electrical systems, but that depends on what the legislation would later outline. Some Republican lawmakers feel the proposal requires more work and fear that people might take advantage of it.

“Not that the idea is bad, but the details aren’t there,” said Rep. Rod Montoya (R-Farmington). “And again, I think your good intentions remain open to what a misinvestment of government funds would mean.”

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Supporters of the bill said the pandemic highlighted the lack of broadband in households across the state. The House gave the green light to the bill and will now go to the Senate. If a simple majority approves the idea, it is elected nationwide.