WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) and Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) have secured over $18 million in Congressionally Directed Spending for New Mexico colleges and universities in the historic bipartisan Omnibus Appropriations Agreement for Fiscal Year 2022. The new law also makes a number of investments in college access, affordability, and completion, including the largest increase in the maximum Pell grant award in more than a decade.
“Growing the workforce grows the economy. New Mexico’s colleges and universities are key to increasing economic opportunities, building up our state’s workforce, and addressing labor market shortages. That’s why I fought for these federal investments that will empower students in higher education programs across the state and create a stronger economic future for New Mexicans,” said Heinrich.
“With such incredible institutions for higher education, like Hispanic Serving Institutions and Tribal Colleges and Universities, throughout New Mexico, it’s vital these universities' needs are met to better serve educators, staff and students,” said Luján. “I’m proud to have worked with Senator Heinrich to secure these investments that will support higher education in New Mexico to ensure students are successful inside the classroom and throughout their careers.”
“This year has brought an abundance of support for students, research, workforce, and other key initiatives led by higher education at both the state and federal levels,” said New Mexico Higher Education Secretary Stephanie Rodriguez. “We are grateful for the advocacy and partnership of Senator Heinrich and Senator Luján in securing funding for key projects in higher education and other areas that will benefit students and communities across New Mexico.”
“I want to thank Senator Heinrich and Senator Lujan for supporting these funding requests and advocating on behalf of NMSU and its mission. This federal funding will help us move forward with our work to serve our state and to address global challenges in education, natural resources, energy, and other areas. We greatly appreciate the collaboration and efforts of both of our esteemed Senators in securing this impactful funding,” said New Mexico State University Chancellor Dan Arvizu.
“Senator Heinrich and Senator Luján have been at the forefront of identifying community needs for Congressionally Directed Spending in support of projects and programs that will improve the lives of all New Mexicans through our work here at The University of New Mexico. UNM sincerely thanks our two U.S. Senators and their House colleagues for their careful consideration of UNM funding requests that are critical for the high-quality education, improved health, and associated well-being of our shared constituents,” said University of New Mexico President Garnett S. Stokes.
“We are beyond grateful for the funding that is being provided through the Omnibus Appropriations Agreement,” said San Juan College President Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass. “U.S. Representative Teresa Leger Fernández championed funding for the creation of our student health center, and U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich championed support for our School of Energy’s Hydrogen and Electric Vehicle Technician Certification Programs. San Juan College will also benefit from congressionally directed funding for a NM higher education shared services collaborative, also championed by Senator Heinrich. We would like to thank the entire New Mexico legislative delegation for their support of San Juan College throughout this process.”
“There is no more critical environmental issue than the protection of our forests and I am so pleased that NMHU is at the very forefront of that initiative,” said New Mexico Highlands University President Dr. Sam Minner.
“With today’s need in mind and an eye to a brighter, more sustainable future, Western New Mexico University is developing leaders who understand the power of community, are attuned to the nuances of the outdoors being a key economic development driver, and have the tools to both leverage New Mexico’s wildest assets and maintain the ecological integrity of our most precious natural resources,” said Western New Mexico University President Dr. Joseph Shepard.
“The Small Business Development Center at Doña Ana Community College would like to thank Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Lujan for their support. This funding for a Spanish-speaking Business Advisor will remove language barriers for entrepreneurs in southern Doña Ana County seeking technical assistance in starting, sustaining, and growing their businesses and recovering from the pandemic," said the Director of the Small Business Development Center at Doña Ana Community College Jo Ann Garay.
Together, Senator Heinrich, a member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, and Senator Luján secured almost $160 million in Congressionally Directed Spending for more than 75 local projects in New Mexico.
Congressionally Directed Spending for New Mexico higher education secured by Senators Heinrich and Lujàn is below:
In addition to the Congressionally Directed Spending for higher education, the $1.5 trillion omnibus addresses college access, affordability, and completion, including: