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Senate Panel Approves $86M Public Works Plan

A key Senate committee approved a pared-down $86.5 million package of statewide public works projects Thursday, paving the way for a Senate vote on the projects by as early as today.

The list of projects include new State Police vehicles, new heating and cooling systems for three state-run prisons and renovations for various state government buildings.

Most of the money — about $81 million — will come from severance tax bonds backed by oil and natural gas revenues. The rest will come from the state’s main operating account and various other state funds.

Gov. Susana Martinez has pushed lawmakers to approve a larger list of public works, or capital outlay, projects totalling about $213 million but several Senate Finance Committee members said Thursday it’s prudent to only spend a portion of that money now.