On Tuesday, the New Mexico Senate voted to pass a Democrat-sponsored bill, H.B. 2, to spend billions in federal funds on projects, many of them helping Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham continue funding her Green New Deal.
The final bill included $10 million for electric vehicle charging stations, $15 million to the Department of Tourism for “marketing advertising,” $10 million to house homeless people, $15 million to the Department of Finance and Administration for “energy-efficient affordable housing” administrative costs, $10 million to the Environment Department to “plan, design and construct projects to improve surface water quality and river habitats statewide,” $3.5 million to plug drilling wells, among other expenditures. The bill included a few more palatable items, such as funding for a hospital in Valencia County.
In the House, the bill was nearly unanimously approved, with Rep. Stefani Lord (R-Sandia Park) the lone vote against it. On the Senate side, it was approved by a vote of 34-4, with Sens. David Gallegos (R-Eunice), Gregg Schmedes (R-Albuquerque), Mark Moores (R-Albuquerque), and Joseph Cervantes (D-Doña Ana) voting against it.
Cervantes wanted to wait to consider the bill at the 2022 regular session instead of the rushed special session, which was supposed to be for redistricting.
The passage of the bill came after state senators won a lawsuit over the scandal-ridden alleged serial groper, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who attempted to unilaterally spend the federal cash without consultation of the legislature.
The Senate’s version of the bill will now head back to the House for a concurrence vote, as a few tweaks were made in the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding funding. It is expected to be sent to the alleged serial groper’s desk this week.