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U.S. Senate committee approves nearly $12 million in local projects for New Mexico

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(The Center Square) – U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., is happy with the Senate Appropriations Committee’s passage of the Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24) Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) Appropriations bill.

The bills include $11.8 million in funding for 34 local projects in New Mexico. They will next receive consideration from the U.S. Senate.

“As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I’m proud to have the opportunity to directly advocate for the needs of New Mexicans in our annual government funding legislation,” Heinrich said in a press release issued by his office. “These bills make substantial investments in the resources law enforcement officials and medical providers need to protect the safety and well-being of families across our state, including by removing barriers to life-saving opioid use disorder treatments and providing more tools to combat the flow of illicit fentanyl.”

“This federal funding will also help promote and nurture the talent and potential we have in New Mexico by supporting our local small businesses, arts organizations, non-profits, and cultural institutions — all vital to strengthening our economy and growing our middle class,” he added.

The largest appropriation would be $1.55 million for the New Mexico Department of Public Safety to fund the Highway Offender Safety project, aimed at helping law enforcement locate stolen vehicles. Similarly, it includes $1.15 million for the Office of the New Mexico Attorney General’s Crime Gun Intelligence Center to buy four ballistic imaging machines to be placed across the state; Heinrich’s office said this would help the state prosecute gun crimes.

Another larger provision would provide the University of New Mexico’s Artemis 3D Challenge program with $840,000 to create a community virtual reality lab; Heinrich’s office said it will help train people for high-wage jobs.

Plus, one of the largest appropriations for New Mexico is $675,000 for the Trauma Informed Youth Diversion Program at Family and Youth Innovation Plus; the program will “provide support, resources, skills coaching, social emotional learning, and psychoeducational programming to youth in Doña Ana County,” according to the release.

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