Utilize Idle dollars to Get New Mexicans back to Work (SF New Mexican 1/29/2016):
Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, says unspent public works money appropriated before 2013 should be returned to the state’s general fund and used for new brick-and-mortar projects. He introduced SB 227 in an effort to make this happen.“Capital outlay dollars are vital to improve New Mexico’s economy, but when they go unspent for years, it is critical that we immediately put those dollars to the best use for the people of the state,” Cervantes said in a news release. “Passage of this legislation will allow us to re-position funds that have been sitting idle, sometimes for years, and make them work for New Mexicans.”
Cervantes said more than $1 billion in capital outlay funds remains unspent and that 11 counties in the state have spent less than 10 percent of funds from 2012 to 2014. Many projects remain unfinished after receiving money because not enough resources are available to complete the projects.
“I understand that some of the projects are in the planning process,” Cervantes said, “but if it takes years to build a project after funds have been allocated, money should not be requested until the planning is closer to completion.”