Pandemic relief spending bill clears New Mexico House panel

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico House committee is advancing a $500 million bill that would direct federal funding toward broadband projects and road infrastructure.

Additional spending items were added to the measure Friday, including $50 million for a rural hospital. While a location for the hospital has yet to be determined, some legislators are leaning toward building it in Valencia County.

The legislation also includes $2 million for teaching scholarships. The state is trying to fill some 1,000 teacher vacancies, and legislators are calling the shortage “acute.”

The largest spending categories in the bill include $123 million for internet infrastructure and $142 million for roads.