State Spotlight: 2 exciting developments in New Mexico Legislature

Authors: Vien Truong

I have two exciting recent developments to report, from the New Mexico State Legislature.

In the House, Speaker Ben Lujan introduced the Green Jobs Bonding Act (House Bill 622). And the Senate unanimously passed a green jobs training bill (Senate Bill 318).

Green Jobs Bonding Act - HB 622

In the first session of the 49th Legislature, New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan introduced the Green Jobs Bonding Act (House Bill 622). HB 622 provides bond revenue funding for green jobs training programs with a focus on rural, tribal communities and disadvantaged individuals.


HB 622 requires the New Mexico Higher Education Department (the “Department”) to develop a state plan for green jobs training programs. The three major components of this plan include:

• A state research program in partnership with the Workforce Solutions Department to collect labor market data for renewable energy and energy efficiency industries;

• A Municipal and tribal energy training partnership program, in which the Department awards grants to higher education institutions partnering with municipalities and tribes to administer green jobs training programs; and

• A pathways out of poverty program, in which the Department awards grants to higher education institutions for green jobs training programs that target disadvantaged populations.


To fund these programs, HB 622 creates the Green Jobs Bonding Fund (the “Fund”) as a special fund within the New Mexico Finance Authority (the “Authority”). HB 622 authorizes the Authority to issue and sell a maximum of $20 million in green jobs bonds to be paid from the Fund for green job training programs. Proceeds from these bonds are appropriated to the Department for green job training programs.


For accountability and transparency purposes, the Department must provide an annual report to the Governor and the Legislature, summarizing all grants made, cost-effectiveness of training programs, and overall progress to comply with the state plan.

Press Release on SB 318:

GREEN JOBS TRAINING BILL PASSES SENATE

From : Gerald Gonzalez
State of New Mexico
New Mexico Senate

For Immediate Release: Contact: Gerald Gonzalez 505-490-1357
Date: March 4, 2009 Bailey Sachs 505-261-2419
Both at 505-986-4476

Santa Fe, NM – Senate Bill 318; a measure modeled after the State’s
film incentives promoting green jobs and a green economy in New Mexico
passed the Senate today by unanimous vote.

Senate Bill 318 (SB 318) would amend existing law to allow up to $1
million to be disbursed annually from the Development Training Fund to
fund development training in green industries. Green industries are
defined in the bill as “industries that contribute directly to
preserving or enhancing environmental quality by reducing waste and
pollution or by producing sustainable products using sustainable
processes and materials.”

“In addition to preparing ourselves to build a greener economy, we
also need to position ourselves to take advantage of federal ‘recovery
package’ monies,” Senator Eric Griego said.

Industries that could be covered by SB 318 include those that involve:
making energy system retrofits for conversation and efficiency;
biofuel production and distribution – along with vehicle retrofits to
use biofuels; organic and community food production, manufacture of
products from recycled or environmentally-friendly materials; solar
technology manufacture, installation and maintenance; material reuse,
recycling and green composting; and water system efficiency and
conservation retrofits.

Senator Eric Griego has also introduced Senate Bill 420 (SB 420),
which would allow the State Investment Council (SIC) to invest up to 2
percent of the Severance Tax Permanent Fund in New Mexico green
industries. However, no single investment would be allowed to exceed
$15 million and all investments would need to be certified as
qualified for investment by the State Investment Officer.

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Vien Truong is Senior Policy Associate at Green For All. She works with States to develop, pass, and implement green jobs legislation.

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