Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez/Courtesy photo
FROM THE OFFICE OF REP. TERESA LEGER FERNANDEZ
Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández helped pass the fiscal year 2023 appropriations bill Dec. 23to fund the government.
The bill includes $23,552,000 in specific Community Project Funding for New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District. It also includes numerous other provisions she championed, including an additional $1.45 billion for wildfire relief, to uplift New Mexico communities and strengthen our democracy.
“The funding bill we passed today is an investment in our future and in a more prosperous New Mexico. I was pleased to secure $23,552,000 in Community Project Funding in this bill that meets long overdue needs in our beautiful 3rd District,” said Rep. Leger Fernández. “These investments make us safer, offer care for those suffering from addiction, build affordable housing, improve our water resources, and strengthen our communities. From Chama to Curry County and Shiprock to Santa Fe, we are making sure no dime is left in Washington that can be put to good use in our communities.”
“The bill honors my requests to provide advanced appropriations for the Indian Health Service so essential health services are not disrupted; it expands technical assistance for those applying for broadband grants so rural communities can access these needed funds; and it funds acequia infrastructure. I helped secure $15 million for dam and reservoir projects in my district and tens of millions more for water projects that will benefit all of New Mexico. Importantly, the bill also provides $1.45 billion to help our neighbors recover from the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire. These investments coupled with resources for Los Alamos National Laboratory, our schools, health care, and veterans will lay the groundwork for our communities to thrive. Because we know that New Mexico must expand its economic base, the bill includes funds to promote apprenticeship opportunities for clean energy jobs and money for coal and fossil fuel communities to support workers and their families. Finally, the bill also amends the Electoral Count Act to ensure a peaceful transfer of power.”
Rep. Leger Fernández championed funding for 15 community projects that will directly benefit New Mexico’s 3rd District. These include:
- $550,000 for the Chama Water Treatment Plant Improvements.
- $2,000,000 for the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) for a cybersecurity shared services program at Clovis Community College, Mesalands Community College, Northern New Mexico College, San Juan College, and Santa Fe Community College.
- $3,000,000 for the County of Taos Detox Center.
- $1,635,000 for Cuba Health Center Workforce Housing.
- $750,000 for the Homeownership Assistance Voucher Program through Homewise.
- $960,000 for the One Generation Indigenous Farm Hub.
- $750,000 for the Mora County Hub for Community-based Services through HELP NM.
- $3,000,000 for the Navajo Nation’s Shiprock Home for Women and Children.
- $750,000 for the New Mexico Highlands University School of Social Work Center of Excellence and Native American Social Studies Institute.
- $750,000 for the Northwest New Mexico Council of Government’s Greater Gallup Industrial Workforce program to transition and re-skill workers into the industrial industry.
- $3,000,000 for the Raton Film Studio and Education Center.
- $640,000 for the Santa Clara Pueblo Riverside Water Conveyance, Water Treatment, and Wastewater Facility.
- $1,500,000 for the Santo Domingo Pueblo Wastewater Distribution System.
- $4,000,000 for the Taos Pueblo Spider Rock Road Improvement Project.
- $267,000 for Curry County Virtual Reality Training Simulators.
Other funding and policy provisions secured by Rep. Leger Fernández in the package include:
- $1.45 billion for the Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Program, including $140 million for the Las Vegas water treatment facility improvements to treat drinking water sources contaminated by the fire.
- $27 million for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program.
- $925 million for the Emergency Watershed Protection Program.
- $7 billion for fiscal year 2023 and $5.129 billion for fiscal year 2024 to fund the Indian Health Service, marking the first time in history that IHS has received an advance appropriation of funding.
- $10,000,000 for the Indian Irrigation Fund.
- $2,153,000 for teacher recruitment and retention in elementary and secondary school programs under the Bureau of Indian Education.
- $286,316,000 for Los Alamos National Labs cleanup projects.
- $4,626,000 for the Eastern New Mexico Water Supply – Ute Reservoir project.
- Up to $5,000,000 to support the Rural Partners Network (RPN), an alliance of federal agencies and civic partners working to expand rural prosperity through job creation, infrastructure development, and community improvement – including the pilot network that includes Colfax, Mora, Taos and San Miguel counties..
- $50,000,000 to provide assistance to displaced workers in communities that have experienced job losses due to dislocations in industries related to fossil fuel extraction or energy production.
- $69 million for assistance to Energy Transition Communities, including $48,000,000 for assistance to coal communities, $16,500,000 for assistance to nuclear power plant closure communities and $4,500,000 for assistance to biomass power plant closure communities.
- $36 million to support grants that promote economic development in partnership with Economic Development Districts (EDDs), Tribes, and other entities.
- $86,140,285 to support the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) grant program, which is intended to improve emergency management and preparedness capabilities by supporting flexible, sustainable, secure, strategically located, and fully interoperable EOCs.
- $233,043,782 to fully fund the Pre-Disaster Mitigation (PDM) and Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC).
- $459 million to develop regional technology hubs to promote research, commercialization, and competitiveness in all corners of America.
- $9.6 million for acequias.
- $5,152,000 for the Abiquiu Dam.
- $4,532,000 for Cochiti Lake.
- $3,265,000 for Conchas Lake.
- $711,000 for Galisteo Dam.
- $1,341,000 for the Jemez Canyon Dam.
- $3,011,000 for the Rio Grande Pueblos.
- $20,000 for the Tucumcari Project.
- Consent Of Congress to Amendment to The Constitution of The State Of New Mexico, following the will of New Mexico voters and expanding access to early childhood and K-12 education.
- Electoral Count Reform and Presidential Transition Improvement, passing reforms to the Electoral Count Act to protect democracy and the peaceful transfer of power.
- Strong Veterans Act of 2022 to provide mental health resources to veterans.
- Language directing USDA to establish a ReConnect technical assistance strategy. This strategy will assist applicants with initial planning and development of applications for USDA ReConnect Program loans, grants, and loan-grant combinations.
- Language calling for clean energy apprenticeships within the National Apprenticeship Program, especially in areas experiencing losses in fossil fuel jobs.
- Language encouraging USDA to consider the creation of a water treatment demonstration project for areas impacted by PFAS contamination from BRAC sites.
The 12-bill government funding package will create good-paying American jobs, grow opportunities for the middle class and small businesses, and provide a lifeline for working families. Taken together, the funding for New Mexico’s 3rd District and the funding increases for critical government programs will continue to reverse decades of disinvestment in our communities.
A detailed summary of the bill is available HERE.