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New Mexico officials hold news conference on American Rescue Plan, discuss relief funding

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández (D-N.M), and New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham hosted a virtual news conference Wednesday to discuss the American Rescue Plan. During the conference, they talked about how the plan will help New Mexico combat COVID-19.

The American Rescue Plan includes direct payments to most Americans, aid to small businesses, financial help for schools, and much more to help the US recover from the pandemic. New Mexico lawmakers say they are still working out just how much of that relief funding will flow into the state. They estimate it will run around $9 billion including money to the state tribes and other groups.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham joined Democratic New Mexico lawmakers for a virtual news conference on Wednesday saying the bill will help combat poverty in New Mexico. Representative Teresa Leger Fernandez said her office plans to hold seminars to help businesses sort through the assistance available to them.

“Some of this is going to flow through the state and some will flow through the PPP grants or USDA. There’s going to be different ways in which people will access these funds,” said Fernandez.

New Mexico’s Republican Congresswoman Yvette Herrell joined her party in condemning the bill for its broad funding aims. In a statement she said she wanted to see more “targeted and temporary relief” for families and businesses struggling during the pandemic.