The list of projects state agencies and lawmakers want funded this year stands at nearly $4.3 billion, with a noon deadline for lawmakers to introduce their project wish lists.
But there’s not much money to go around.
There will be only $123 million for severance tax bonds to fund some state and many local projects. That compares with $212 million for severance tax bonds in 2012.
Meanwhile, about $185 million is available via general obligation bonds, which are funded by property taxes and must be approved by voters in November.
- $23.7 million for senior centers
- $10 million for libraries
- $5 million for pre-kindergarten classrooms and school buses
- $133.5 million for higher education
- $14 million for public safety projects.
This would be the first time public safety projects are included in general obligation bonds, capital projects analyst Linda Kehoe told the Senate Finance Committee last week.
That’s in part because it’s a way to get $6 million to build a new state crime lab in Santa Fe. The lack of an adequate crime lab has been blamed for a backlog of testing rape kits and, thus, identifying and prosecuting suspected rapists.
It’s unclear how much money will be available for lawmakers to divvy up among themselves in the $123 million severance tax bond bill.
House Bill 219 currently includes almost $88 million worth of state-level projects, with $67 million coming from severance tax bonds and the rest from other sources. That would leave $56 million for legislative earmarks.
Legislative leaders and executive branch representatives typically work behind closed doors to work out details of the bill, including how much will go to local projects specified by individual lawmakers.