Welcome to New Mexico’s capital outlay process — the way the state funds infrastructure and other projects every year. Its significance, particularly for rural areas that can’t fund their own projects, can’t be understated. For decades, this is how towns have gotten their Little League fields, counties obtain badly needed road repair, airports upgrade terminals.
If it sounds cumbersome, this isn’t the half of it — or even an eighth. The rush to get lawmakers to sign these precious pieces of paper is merely one part of an extremely complicated system that’s confusing to freshman legislators and burdensome to veterans. What’s more, many observers say it’s rushed and opaque from the start, meaning there’s a pronounced lack of public information about which projects the governor and lawmakers are proposing and ultimately support. (Read more)