Actions: SPREF  SIRC/SFC-SIRC  w/o rec-SFC
Scheduled: Not Scheduled
Senate Bill 27 (SB 27) enacts the Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Act; creates the Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Fund; establishes eligibility requirements; creates the Bureau of Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response; allocates severance tax to the Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Fund; amends the Tribal Infrastructure Act to make the Tribal Infrastructure Board the fiscal agent for funds received through this act by Indian nations, tribes and pueblos; and makes an appropriation.Legislation Overview:
Senate Bill 27 (SB 27) Section 1 states that Sections 1 through 4 of the bill are called the “Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Act”. SB 27 Section 2 defines terms used in the Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Act. This section defines “bureau”, “crisis event”, “critical public infrastructure”, “durable equipment”, “eligible project”, “fund”, “local authority”, “relief request”, “repair or replace”, “secretary”, and “utility services”. SB 27 Section 3 outlines eligibility and processes as follows: • Subsection A outlines financial assistance eligibility criteria for projects which are repairing and replacing critical public infrastructure. Assistance may begin on January 1, 2024. • Subsection B outlines the process for submitting a relief request. • Subsection C states that the bureau must provide an engineering and financial evaluation, and subsequent recommendation, within 30 days of receiving a relief request. • Subsection D states that within 15 days of receiving the evaluation the secretary will make a formal decision on the project’s eligibility. • Subsection E describes the process by which the secretary will make funds available. • Subsection F states that funds are limited to $1,000,000 per county per year. • Subsection G states that the secretary must submit certifications issued within the prior 6 months on June 15 and December 15. SB 27 enacts new material in Section 4 which creates the rural infrastructure crisis response fund. This fund is: • Created in the state treasury and administered by the department of finance and administration. Funds may be made available for eligible projects for up to ninety-five percent of the total cost if the local authority can pay the remainder and one hundred percent if recommended by the bureau and secretary. Projects that require construction must be designed with engineering requirements from the bureau. • By November 30 of each year, the department of finance and administration must report on granted projects to the interim legislative committee. Section 5 amends Section 6-29-5 NMSA 1978 and expands the duties of the tribal infrastructure board to include acting as the fiscal agent for projects owned or operated by tribes that receive Rural Infrastructure Crisis Response Act funding. Section 6 amends Section 7-27-10.1 NMSA 1978 by adding subsection C. This section provides severance tax bond priority for rural infrastructure crisis response projects. Two and one-fourth percent of the estimated bonding capacity is allocated for these projects. Section 7 enacts a new section of the Department of Finance and Administration Act which creates the “bureau of rural infrastructure crisis response” as a division of the department of finance and administration. Section 8 appropriates $1,600,000 to the department of finance and administration, for fiscal years 2023 through 2026, for staff and contractual services. No more than $400,000 may be expended in one fiscal year.