Legislators for the far north valley will review the 2019 the highs and lows of the 2019 session of the New Mexico state legislature at the April meeting of the Alameda North Valley Association on Thursday, April 18 at 7 p.m. at the Raymond G. Sanchez Community Center (9800 North 4th Street.) Representative Day Hochman-Vigil and Sen. Bill O’Neill will both attend the meeting. Sen. John Sapien was invited, but was unable to attend.
There were many issues that will affect the North Valley debated during this session of the legislature, including capital outlay requests from the City of Albuquerque. One of those requests, to build a spur rail line from the Sandia Reservation into the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Park was vigorously opposed by ANVA because the city had not informed people directly affected by the proposal before money to fund it was formally requested by the city in the capital outlay bill. As far as anyone can tell, the city did not do comprehensive planning, feasibility studies or studies on the impacts on county citizens before requesting the money.
ANVA worked to get the railroad spur language line item vetoed by Governor Lujan Grisham, but the city still has $7.5 million to improve access to the park, and there is no way to tell how that will affect the north valley community. Items deleted in the city request were a new rail spur line and stop, slip ramp and parking lot.
This session of the legislature passed a huge volume of legislation that will have impacts on on all New Mexico citizens. That includes major funding increases for schools that have underserved populations, although it is unclear at this point whether north valley schools will receive part of the funding. The legislature also passed a bill that would require background checks for private gun sales, and tax reform wills.
In addition, each of our legislators had capital outlay money they could spend as they chose. This will be an opportunity to ask them about how they chose to spend their capital outlay money and how the north valley will benefit.