Heinrich, Luján Deliver Over $18 Million In Direct Investments To Support New Mexico Higher Education

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:

  • $4.1 million for the Collaborative for Higher Education Shared Services (CHESS) for resource planning and implementation of a shared student information system.
  • $2 million for the development and implementation of RISE NM – New Mexico’s longitudinal data system.
  • $1.8 million to expand the ZiaMet MesoNet Weather Monitoring Network at New Mexico State University.
  • $1.5 million for peer support substance abuse treatment at the University of New Mexico.
  • $1.5 million to renovate research facilities at the University of New Mexico.
  • $1.1 million for facilities and equipment at San Juan College.
  • $1,073,000 for the Allied Health Program at Clovis Community College.
  • $1 million for a reforestation center at New Mexico Highlands University.
  • $995,000 for New Mexico State University’s Initiative on Carbon Management and Soil Health in Arid and Semi-Arid Environments.
  • $750,000 for the Artificial Intelligence Educational Pipeline (AIEP) Program at New Mexico State University.
  • $500,000 for workforce development supporting blue and green hydrogen at the San Juan College School of Energy.
  • $473,000 for COVID-19 home visitation analysis at the University of New Mexico.
  • $374,000 for the Decedent Image Database at the University of New Mexico.
  • $343,000 for the Outdoor Leadership degree program at Western New Mexico University.
  • $300,000 to New Mexico State University to implement the STEM Connected Communities (STEM-C2) project to train teachers and provide professional development in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Math (STEM) at New Mexico State University.
  • $200,000 for the Arrowhead Community Entrepreneurship Program at New Mexico State University.
  • $200,000 for the Arrowhead Sprint Accelerator Program at New Mexico State University.
  • $107,000 for the New Mexico Small Business Development Center Technology Commercialization Accelerator at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (New Mexico Tech).
  • $77,000 for the New Mexico Small Business Development Center to support a Spanish Speaking Business Advisor position assigned to Doña Ana Community College.
  • $50,000 to support the Electric Vehicle Technician Certification Program at the San Juan College School of Energy.

In addition to the Congressionally Directed Spending for higher education, the $1.5 trillion omnibus addresses college access, affordability, and completion, including:

  • $400 increase in the maximum Pell grant award to $5,835 per student for 2022 through 2023, the largest increase in more than a decade, which will help 7 million students pursue a postsecondary education.
  • $885 million, an increase of $96 million, for a programs to strengthen Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) such as Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and other historically under-resourced institutions of higher education serving a high percentage of low-income students.
  • $265 million, an increase of $43.4 million, for HSI programs across the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Agriculture, and the National Science Foundation, plus a GAO study on the infrastructure needs of the nation’s HSIs.
  • $279 million, an increase of $25.3 million, for TCU programs across the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of the Interior, and National Science Foundation.
  • $1.1 billion, an increase of $40 million, for TRIO, which helps more than 800,000 low-income individuals, first generation college students, and individuals with disabilities prepare for and get into college and succeed when they’re there.
  • $378 million, an increase of $10 million for GEAR UP, which helps almost 600,000 low-income students beginning in middle school and through high school prepare for a postsecondary education.
  • $65 million, an increase of $10 million, for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program to increase access to affordable and convenient child care options for student parents.

A full list of community project funding secured by Senator Heinrich is available here.

A full list of community project funding secured by Senator Luján is available here.

More information about the process for Congressionally Directed Spending requests for Fiscal Year 2023 is available on Senator Heinrich’s website and Senator Luján’s website.