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State voters approve bonds, amendments


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

New Mexico voters have approved all five statewide ballot questions, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office.

That means they have passed three general obligation bond issues for about $199.22 million and two constitutional amendments.

All 1,925 precincts in New Mexico had reported their results by Wednesday morning, according to the Secretary of State election website. But voting remains unofficial until canvassed by local and state officials on Nov. 10 and Nov. 24.

Bond A for funds to senior facilities passed 68% to 32%, or 540,002 to 255,080. It provides $33.29 million to senior-serving organizations throughout the state, including $701,395 to the Midway, Lake Arthur and Roswell locations of the Chaves County JOY Centers.

Bond B for public, tribal and academic libraries passed 66% to 34%, or 524,639 to 269,872. It will provide $9.75 million, including $228,352 to eight college and public school libraries in Chaves County.

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Bond C for higher education was approved 65% to 35%, or 516,005 to 281,311. It provides $156.36 million to 33 institutions, including $3 million to the New Mexico Military Institute and $1.8 million to $1.85 million to ENMU-R.

A consortium that ran a political campaign for Bond C for higher education noted the high approval rating.

“By an overwhelming majority of 65%, New Mexico voters ensured we can maintain the educational institutions we have already invested in and give them the resources they need to provide a safe, quality education with up-to-date technology,” said the post by the 2020 GO Bond for Higher Education campaign.

The group also supported Bond B for public, tribal and academic libraries.

All the bonds are repaid by statewide property taxes, which are not expected to increase because the new bonds replace expiring bonds. The state has estimated that costs to taxpayers will be about $10.99 a year for each $100,000 in property or asset value during a 10-year period.

Constitutional Amendment 1 passed 55% to 45%, or 436,700 to 351,208. Constitutional Amendment 2 passed 64% to 36%, or 493,721 to 274,512.

Amendment 1 affects the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. It reduces its membership from five to three and makes commissioners appointees of the governor, rather than elected officials. It also establishes by statute that the commission’s regulatory authority is limited to utility companies, unless the Legislature expands its duties. It will take effect January 2023.

Amendment 2 deals with non-statewide elected offices. It clarifies that elected officials take office Jan. 1 after election day, and it allows the New Mexico Legislature to change the terms of office for ease of administration of those offices or to manage the number of races on a ballot.

Chaves County voters approved all three bond issues with 6 percentage points or more and passed Constitutional Amendment 2 53% to 47%, or 10,242 to 9,177. The majority of local voters rejected Amendment 1, voting 42% to 58% against it, or 8,301 in favor to 11,569 against.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 351, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with coverage of this and other 2020 elections of local and regional interest, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/elections/.

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Lisa Dunlap is a general assignment reporter for the Roswell Daily Record.