Headlight Staff Reports Published 6:30 a.m. MT Jan. 30, 2019 Bills move to House Appropriations and Finance Committee
SANTA FE, NM – Rep. Candie Sweetser’s (D-Deming) bill to expand economic development opportunities passed the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee. House Bill 126 provides a $1.5 million appropriation to the economic development grant fund to help create jobs and grow the economy in all parts of the state. “By promoting economic development in communities across the state – including here in southwest New Mexico – we are growing the economy and creating jobs for New Mexico families,” said Rep. Sweetser. “In order to have long-term success, we must continue making these smart investments to increase opportunities and ensure economic security.”
Her home town of Deming ranks among the most economically depressed counties in New Mexico.
HB 126 appropriates $1.5 million to the Economic Development Grant Fund to provide funding for local and regional economic development organizations to hire economic development professionals, which would enhance local economic development job creation efforts. Although the Economic Development Grant Fund was created in 2014, it has never been funded.
House Democrats understand that local development organizations are often the best advocates for their communities, and this appropriation provides the needed resources and tools to empower them.
House Bill 126 now heads to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
Sweetser also introduce a bill last week to provide food and agriculture education to New Mexico students passed the House Agriculture and Water Resources Committee. House Bill 125 would create an appropriation for agriculture education and experiential learning grants to school programs.
“In New Mexico, we know how important it is for young people to have every opportunity to succeed,” said Sweetser. “We also know that getting agriculture literacy throughout our state is crucial for students to remember where their food, fiber, and fuel originates. This is a community-driven program that connects our students to their land and the deep roots of our state.”
House Democrats understand the vital contributions of rural communities, farming and ranching to New Mexico and this bill serves to protect and expand youth’s awareness of food and agriculture. House Bill 125 also moved to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee for consideration.