December 11, 2009

Finalized Bill Contains Funds for New Mexico Health and Education Initiatives

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today reported that the final version of a key spending bill contains funding for New Mexico health and education initiatives. The bill is expected to pass the Senate as soon as this weekend, and be sent to the president for signature.

"The initiatives funded in this bill represent some of the most innovative thinking in the state. They benefit their community and help them reach their full potential," Bingaman said.

"Investing in the health and education of our citizens are two of the most important roles of government. With this funding, we are helping to shape New Mexico's future through a wide variety of programs that will build a healthier, more efficient workforce and better informed citizens for tomorrow," Udall said.

The bill contains the following:

$200,000 - AVANCE, Inc.: Funding would help AVANCE establish a regional office in Doña Ana County and expand their parent-child education programs to serve more families in southern New Mexico.

$200,000 - Inquiry Facilitators, Inc.: Funds would help the non-profit organization conduct up to 20 workshops throughout New Mexico to recruit participants and assist students and teachers in designing, building, programming, and testing robots as well as completing the required team engineering reports and blogs associated with robotics competitions.

$100,000 - La Familia Medical Center: The funding would help the center acquire written materials, exercise aids and staff, including a Promotora, a certified diabetes educator and a nutritionist to collaborate with a community diabetes education outreach program to provide on-site individual counseling and group classes for patients.

$200,000 Hobbs Hispano Chamber of Commerce: Funding would be used for workforce development activities.

$150,000 - Save the Children: Funds will be dedicated towards curriculum and assessment materials, computers and technological equipment, and ongoing training and technical assistance needs, as well as towards equipment and supplies for a physical activity and healthy snack component of the afterschool literacy program.

$150,000 - City of Farmington: Funds will be used to hire 1-2 treatment counselors and retain one position as residential counselor to provide evidence based intervention strategies for public inebriates. The service population is primarily Native American and all programming will hold cultural competence and sensitivity.

$100,000 - Eastern New Mexico University: Funding would upgrade student labs and campus computers (software, hardware, peripherals and security) for students and faculty, with back-up power generator and servers for security protection.

$100,000 - Los Alamos National Lab Foundation: Funding would help the foundation establish the Teacher Corps programs. It would help them recruit 20 recent math/science college graduates and provide training for alternative teacher licensure while they work in 18 school districts. These school districts are expected to hire these college graduates once they are licensed.

$100,000 - Semos Unidos: The nonprofit organization would use funds to cover staff salaries, office supplies and other equipment needed to develop and produce Hispanic learning materials for approx. 30,000 students.

$125,000 - Sierra County: Funds would help with the construction of a building to replace an out of code, old facility that serves as a critical care hospital.

$125,000 - YMCA Española Teen Center: Funds would provide salaries for instructional and administrative staff and support (i.e., transportation services) to serve 280 at-risk students for truancy, violence prevention, and provide remedial academic support.

$450,000 - University of New Mexico-Taos: The University of New Mexico will install technology and wiring at its Taos Branch Community College Telecommunications/Distance Education Center. This effort will address overcrowded and outdated facilities and equipment at the Center, allowing it to promote Web-based learning; provide technological flexibility such as video-on-demand; and offer state-of-the-art training and equipment in support of the university's educational programs.