Roundhouse Roundup: Albuquerque Roads, Essential Services, Media Literacy

SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) — The deadline for introducing new legislation passed this week. It is now a matter of seeing what goes through the various committees. On Saturday, February 5, several more committee meetings are scheduled. On the table are bills ranging from road improvements to a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the Legislature to use state funds to improve access to essential services for New Mexicans.

As Albuquerque grew, Paseo Del Norte Boulevard became a key route connecting the Eastside to the Westside. Since 2018, the city has focused on improving the western part of the boulevard, originally requesting, but not receiving, public funds to improve the road. In 2020, the city had hired a designer for the planned improvements.

Now the story continues as senators consider Senate Bill 160. Introduced by Sen. Harold Pope (D-Abq.) and Rep. Joy Garratt (D-Abq.), the bill seeks $15 million to expand Paseo Del Norte in West Albuquerque.

Also on Saturday’s agenda Senate Bill 170, which would provide $600,000 to revitalize the West Central Avenue corridor in Albuquerque. The proposed funds would be used to contract with a community organization to stimulate collaboration between neighborhoods and merchant associations.

In addition to street-specific legislation, here are some key things to look out for:

Cargo trailers, liquefied petroleum gas

  • On Saturday, the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee will meet to discuss a handful of bills.
  • In addition to the previously mentioned projects in Albuquerque, they will also review bills related to utility easements, adding transparency to the liquefied petroleum gas delivery industry and requiring some freight trucks to drive in the right lane. on the highways.
  • Senate Bill 174 would require all truck tractors attached to a cargo trailer to drive in the right lane when outside municipal boundaries. If caught another way, they could be fined $200.

Essential Services Fund

  • On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee will meet to discuss a few bills.
  • They will consider House Joint Resolution 1that would amend the state constitution to allow lawmakers access to state funds to provide New Mexicans with infrastructure for essential internet, energy, and water services.
  • To access the money, a majority of Senate and House lawmakers would have to come together to pass an enactment bill.
  • According to a Legislative Finance Committee Budget Analysis.

Environmental rights, cleaning

  • On Saturday, the Parliament’s Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee will meet to discuss legislation relating to environmental protection.
  • They will consider House Joint Resolution 2that would amend the state’s constitution to say, “The people of the state have a natural, inherent, and inalienable right to a clean and healthy environment, including water, air, soil, flora, fauna, ecosystems and climate, and to the protection of the natural, cultural, landscape and healthy qualities of the environment.
  • A Finance Legislative Committee the financial analysis of the proposed changes identifies several technical issues. For example, the changes, as introduced, would make the state the trustee of New Mexico’s natural resources. This could create conflict and confusion over existing regulations and responsibilities, according to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
  • The resolution also notes that these changes would not allow the state to award damages if this section of the constitution is violated.
  • The committee will also consider delegating uranium mine cleanup projects and sustainable building tax credits.

media education

  • On Monday, February 7, the Senate Education Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 209.
  • The bill, introduced by Sen. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales (D-Taos), would provide $250,000 to the Department of Public Education for youth media literacy programs for students in North America. the state.

Michelle J. Kelley