The New Mexico Legislature met yesterday for the Second Special Session of 2020 to propose, debate and approve a $330 million financial aid package aimed at providing financial relief to small businesses, unemployed individuals, and low-income families.
The Second Special Session just concluded minutes ago with passage of House Bill 1 by both the Senate and House of Representatives. Below is a brief overview of the legislation and its key provisions:
New Mexico Small Business Grant Program
The bill utilizes $100 million of Federal CARES funding to provide grants up to $50,000 to New Mexico small businesses. Priority will be given to the hospitality and leisure businesses, and businesses and nonprofits that have suffered severe economic impact. The New Mexico Finance Authority will administer the grant program.
Below are the business eligibility requirements:
– Nonprofit 501(c)(3), 501(c)(6), 501(c)(8) or veterans organizations described in Section 501(c) that employ not more than one hundred employees; or
– Sole proprietorships owned by a New Mexico resident that employ not more than one hundred employees; or
– Corporations, partnerships, joint ventures, limited liability companies or limited partnerships with at least fifty-one (51) percent owned by one or more New Mexico residents; that employ not more than one hundred employees.
One-Time Supplemental Unemployment Compensation Benefit
The bill appropriates $194 million of Federal CARES funding to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions to provide a one-time supplemental unemployment compensation benefit in the amount of $1,200 to each unemployment claimant (state and federal) eligible for benefits during the 7 days following the bill’s effective date, and to those who have exhausted all unemployment insurance benefits between September 12, 2020 and the bill’s effective date.
Low-Income Economic Assistance
The bill appropriates $5 million of Federal CARES funding to the New Mexico Human Services Department to provide assistance to low-income state residents of up to $750 per household, who did not receive an “economic impact payment” from the Federal Government.
Emergency Housing Assistance
The bill appropriates $15 million of Federal CARES funding to the Department of Finance and Administration to contract for services to provide emergency housing assistance.
Emergency Food Bank Services
The bill appropriates $5 million of Federal CARES funding to the Human Services Department to contract for services to provide emergency food bank services.
Unexpended CARES Act Funds
Any unexpended balance remaining from the Federal CARES funding appropriations on December 28, 2020 shall revert to the unemployment compensation fund.
Contact Tracing, Testing & Vaccine Implementation
The bill appropriates $10 million from the general fund to the NM Department of Health to contract for services for COVID-19 contact tracing, testing and vaccine implementation.
Administrative Office of the Courts
The bill appropriates $200,000 from the general fund to the Administrative Office of the Courts to implement and comply with the public health orders.