In a Special Session today, New Mexico state lawmakers voted to approve a $330 million pandemic relief package–$319 million of which will come from CARES Act federal funding.
The House approved the legislation 59-11 while the Senate passed the bill 33-5.
The bill received bipartisan support.
Legislators gave the green light to authorizing $194 million to assist New Mexico’s unemployed, $100 million in business grants and $15 million in housing assistance. Funds would also go to food banks and COVID-19 vaccine distribution and contact tracing efforts.
While RPNM wholeheartedly supports direct relief to help hurting New Mexicans, this is not a cure for our pandemic pains. The bill is good in that it helps provide assistance to distressed New Mexico families, the unemployed and devastated businesses.
Today’s hefty allocation of federal dollars, however, is a temporary fix to a problem that’s plagued New Mexico since March. A band-aid approach is not the answer, and what must be done is a carefully crafted long-term solution that will repair our badly damaged economy and suffering state.
Gov. Lujan Grisham’s poor decisions, lack of strategy and ineffective “science” have led to a state that’s experiencing a rise in COVID-19 cases amid the toughest restrictions in the nation. It’s a lack of leadership at the top that’s now forced stopgap legislation.
“It’s imperative that New Mexico provide these funds to its residents who are hurting, suffering and in desperate need of help due to the pandemic,” said Republican Party of New Mexico Chairman Steve Pearce. “This assistance will help for a while, but the legislation is simply too little too late. There’s never been a long-term strategy to get New Mexicans and their businesses back on their feet. The governor’s lockdowns and random decisions continue to kill our economy, and New Mexico’s virus rates are still among the worst in the nation. The governor’s Administration has never seen the big picture.”