Northern NM Communities Get Boost in 2022 Wildfire Financial Relief
Friday, December 30, 2022
More money is on the way to help New Mexico's communities recover from the largest wildfire in state history.
The 2022 Hermit's Peak-Calf Canyon Fire began April 6 when the U.S. Forest Service lost control of a prescribed burn. It scorched some 534 square miles of national forest, Pecos Wilderness and private land, taking out 900 structures in its path, including several hundred homes.
When Congress passed the appropriations bill this month, said Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., nearly $1.5 billion in aid was included to help Northern New Mexicans recover from wildfires and subsequent flooding.
"We're just going to keep working to make sure that all of those communities in places like Mora and Guadalupita and Las Vegas and others can rebuild in a meaningful way, can have clean water, can do the things that they need to do to keep those communities strong," he said.
Some of the money will go toward repair and replacement of the water-treatment facility in the northern New Mexico town of Las Vegas. The financial boost is in addition to the $2.5 billion in aid from the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Fire Assistance Act approved earlier.
Heinrich, serving his second term as a U.S. senator, said he believes the 2021-22 congressional session was one of the most productive in recent history.
"We had one of the biggest veteran's benefit expansions in the history of the VA," he said. "We were able to invest in infrastructure in a way we talked about for decades but were never able to get across the finish line before."
The omnibus spending bill also provides necessary congressional authorization for a constitutional amendment New Mexico voters approved last month to tap into the Land Grant Permanent Fund for early-childhood education funding.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
The Alabama House and Senate both passed bills this week that would help people resume in vitro fertilization and provide legal protections for provid…
A new report finds some Missouri laws and prospective laws are perceived as discriminatory regardless of their actual intent - and it outlines some bi…
By Frank Jossi for Energy News Network.Broadcast version by Mike Moen for Minnesota News Connection reporting for the Solutions Journalism Network-Pub…
By Claire Carlson, John Upton and Kaitlyn Trudeau for The Daily Yonder.Broadcast version by Mark Richardson for Oregon News Service for the Public …
A new Network for Public Education report grades Florida an "F" for its public school funding. As Florida lawmakers negotiate the state budget in …
As members of Congress and presidential candidates battle it out over immigration, a group of Nevada leaders and experts dedicated to advancing …
A bill in Olympia would open access to unemployment while workers are on strike, but time is running out for lawmakers to pass the legislation…
With Pennsylvania's primary election less than 60 days away, a nonpartisan group is stepping up the pace to educate people on voting by mail and by …