On Nov. 8, voters will be asked to approve four statewide bond questions.
The Legislature passed the “2016 Capital Projects and Obligation Bond Act,” which, if voters agree, would allow for the issuance of $186 million in general obligation bonds for capital expenditures for senior citizen centers, resources for libraries throughout the state, capital expenditures for colleges and universities statewide, and state public safety capital improvements.
Each bond is voted on separately. If the bonds are not approved, the projects will not be funded.
Most of the money will be spent on infrastructure projects to benefit New Mexico residents. The Journal recommends approval of all four.
Bond Question A, senior centers – Yes
Approval by voters would authorize the issuance and sale of $15,440,000 of bonds for construction and repair of senior citizens centers in 24 counties.
Bond Question B, libraries – Yes
Approval would authorize $10,167,000 for public libraries, tribal libraries and academic libraries. The money would be used to buy print, nonprint and electronic resources, upgrade technology, and purchase equipment.
Bond Question C, higher education – Yes
Approval would authorize up to $142,356,000 for repairs and construction for higher education, tribal schools and community colleges. Specifically proposed is $34.5 million for the University of New Mexico, $32.35 million for community colleges and various schools, $27.5 million for New Mexico State University, $12.7 million for Eastern New Mexico University, $5.5 million for New Mexico Institute of Technology and Mining, $5 million for Western New Mexico University, $4.85 million for New Mexico Military Institute, $4.5 million for Highlands University, $2 million for the New Mexico School for the Deaf, $1.2 million for the New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired and $1 million for Northern New Mexico College.
Several of the larger projects include a new physics and astronomy building at UNM, renovation of Dan W. Williams Hall at NMSU’s main campus, renovation of Max Salazar Hall at Central New Mexico Community College’s main campus and renovation of the Golden library and student success center at ENMU.
Bond Question D, public safety – Yes
Approval would authorize a total of $18.1 million for state public safety. It proposes $7 million for a new state police crime laboratory and evidence and records facility at the Department of Public Safety headquarters in Santa Fe, $5 million for the Department of Information Technology for infrastructure to stabilize and modernize public safety communications statewide, $4 million to build a National Guard readiness center in Las Cruces, and $2 million for systems to improve energy efficiency and for staging facilities statewide.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.