On December 3, 2018 by a news release, Mayor Tim Keller announced his administration’s priorities for the 2019 New Mexico legislative session.
The priorities focus on five major areas: public safety, homelessness, children’s issues, job creation and infrastructure updates.
Keller is quoted as saying in the news release:
“We know that as New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque has the potential to impact the rest of the state. With this legislative agenda, our city can help lift up the entire state by tackling crime from all sides, increasing economic opportunity, addressing homelessness and stepping up for our kids. We’re setting our sights on tangible projects that can make a real difference in our communities.”
Following is a listing of the legislative priorities by topic:
1. PUBLIC SAFETY
• Improved radio technology for better coordination between all emergency service providers in Albuquerque and the surrounding area
• DNA processing automation to help resolve the rape kit backlog and ensure timely processing
• Dedicated funding to support public safety, and infrastructure and equipment needs
• Money for electronic gunshot detection
• More support for the APD Gun Intelligence Center to solve gun-related crimes
• Updates to the police academy to better equip officers for community policing
• Anti-auto theft technology money to reduce and better solve auto theft crimes.
• Bunker gear to prevent risk of contracting cancer among first responders
2. JOB CREATION
• First phase of redevelopment at the Rail Yards
• Adding Balloon Fiesta Park access improvements
• Roadway improvements at Central and Unser
• Increasing job training funding for the film industry through JTIP
• KiMo Theater repairs to support Albuquerque’s creative economy.
• Full funding for Local Economic Development Act so that the city can expand economic opportunities
3. CHILDREN’S ISSUES:
• Money for two new child development centers on the West Side
• More support for pre-K programs
• Public library in the International District
• Operating funds for expanded hours of operation for a 24/7 emergency shelter with crisis triage support
• Construction of two centrally located shelter facilities with onsite supportive services
5. INFRASTRUCTURE UPGRADES
• ADA updates to sidewalks and intersections throughout Albuquerque
• Animal welfare upgrades
ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY
This will be Mayor Tim Keller’s second New Mexico legislative session and it will be a sixty-day session.
January 1, 2019 will not only be the beginning of a new year, but also the first day of work of our new Governor.
The biggest and most significant difference is that New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan will be in charge and the Democrat Majority in the house has increased substantially.
Further, it is being projected that upwards of $2 billion additional monies will be available thanks to the oil and gas revenues.
This will probably be the first time in 8 years that we will not see an “all crime all the time” legislative session.