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Mayor Tim Keller Thanks Legislators, Governor on a Critical Session for Albuquerque and Central New Mexico

Session produces vital investments for regions top needs.

March 16, 2019

In the waning days of the 60-day legislative session, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham and Albuquerque-area state legislators stepped up together to invest $54 million in Albuquerque projects over the next several years, providing critical support to the state’s largest urban center. The funding comes as Albuquerque moves to face challenges around crime, homelessness, and place-making head on.  The legislation still requires the Governor’s signature.

Mayor Tim Keller said, “Albuquerque is facing deep challenges and we reached out to our state legislators and Governor to help us meet them. The funding produced in this session is a blessing, and we are grateful our local and state leaders are coming together around our toughest challenges—especially when it comes to fighting crime. There’s a long road ahead, but as far as the session goes, we have what we need to push forward.”

Albuquerque-area legislators who stepped up to help the Duke City were joined by $33 million from statewide priority funding allocated for:

  • A fully connected regional law enforcement communications network,
  • A gunshot detection system that will help cops find and arrest criminals who use guns for crime,
  • Life-saving equipment and infrastructure for Albuquerque Fire and Rescue, and more.

All told, $15 million in statewide special project funding is going to public safety in Albuquerque. An additional $7.5 million will go to break the traffic gridlock around Balloon Fiesta Park. And $7.5 million for the Rail Yards means critical environmental remediation, a necessary first step for re-development, will move forward. These funds are a very significant increase over past years when Albuquerque, home to more than 25% of the state’s population, received a much lower percentage of the statewide priority funding.

Mayor Keller said, “I’m grateful to Governor Lujan Grisham, our Legislators, and those from around the state who recognized that in many ways, as Albuquerque goes, so goes much of New Mexico, and made a real investment in helping us fight crime and build our economy will help the whole state.”

Albuquerque will also see the benefit of a united group of legislators working together to coordinate legislative priority funding toward shared goals. Thanks to the work of a bi-partisan group including newcomers in the freshman class, more than $20 million in legislative priority funding invested in Albuquerque includes:

  • Additional funding for the law enforcement communications network,
  • Upgrades to APD's DNA lab to help identify criminals, clear rape kits, and get repeat offenders behind bars, and
  • Millions of dollars for critical public infrastructure like roads, parks, community centers, libraries, museums, pools, and open space.

In addition to the investment in capital projects, Rep. Javier Martinez and Sen. Jacob Candelaria also led the charge to protect city revenue that was earmarked to help put more cops on the street.

Mayor Keller said, “Our legislators were elected to go to Santa Fe and fight for the funding we need to turn the tide on crime. Our freshman class of Albuquerque-area legislators rose to that challenge, working with veterans on both sides of the aisle to give us the tools to do the job.”