HOUSE DEMOCRATS NEWS RELEASE
HB 62, which would create the Grants Opportunities Council, passed the House tonight with a vote of 65 to 1. This council would support New Mexican municipalities to research and apply for federal and other grants, making it easier for rural and underserved communities to access these crucial funds.
The bill also creates a $1 million Grants Matching Fund, administered by the Department of Finance & Administration to help municipalities qualify for grants requiring a match. Many grants require applicants to contribute a match, or a fraction of the cost of a project, which can be a barrier to eligibility for smaller, more rural communities that may lack those matching funds. The council and fund will prioritize supporting rural and underserved communities, which need more resources and assistance throughout the grant writing and application process.
“This bill sets up a matching grant fund that will help our communities, especially small towns and rural areas access more competitive federal grant funds,” said Rep. Meredith Dixon (D-Albuquerque). “Simply put, we have an opportunity to multiply every state dollar we put in and bring needed services to our state.”
Increasing the capabilities for these communities to apply for and receive grant funds will bring more investment and infrastructure to municipalities across New Mexico, particularly in rural areas.
The bill is sponsored by Representatives Dixon, Susan Herrera (D-Embudo), Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos), Kristina Ortez (D-Taos), and Senator Martin Hickey (Albuquerque).