Monday, October 26, 2009

A Farewell to Pork?

Gov. Bill Richardson just announced that he's ordering a "freeze on capital outlay projects" in an effort to save as much as $150 million.

The news release issued a few minutes ago doesn't identify the projects. It just says "The freeze will apply to projects initiated by the Legislature and the Governor."

"Only those projects that already have third-party agreements will be honored as of Oct. 23," the statement says. That means only those in which there are contracts in place won't be cut.

The news release criticizes the Legislature for not scrapping stalled capital outlay projects as part of the budget bill.

“These pork projects should be the first to be cut before we take any action that affects people,” Richardson said in the release.

"The Legislature, during last week’s special session, simply suggested that they consider looking at projects to be cut in January. However, no action was taken to actually cut the projects," the release said.

As a result, Governor Richardson is directing state agencies to cancel all grant agreements for capital outlay.

The freeze will remain in place through the next legislative session in January when the issue can be revisited, the news release said.


From a story I did last week, here's some Santa Fe-area projects that could be turned into frozen pork:

* $1.4 million for Santa Cruz Dam/Reservoir improvements
* $1.2 million for an open-air rehearsal hall at the Santa Fe Opera
* $1 million for a Pojoaque Valley area water/wastewater system.
* $665,999 for a Pojoaque Valley Community Center Project.
* $534,909 County Road 501 improvements in Los Alamos County.
* $520,000 for the Santa Fe Rape Crisis & Trauma Center.
* $500,000 for Santa Fe water/wastewater treatment.
* $400,000 for the Eldorado Water District
* $364,280 for the Agua Fría Children's Zone
* $350,000 for a Sombrillo sewer system
* $250,000 for Santa Fe County wells.
* $250,000 for a pedestrian and bike crossing over the Santa Fe River at Camino Rael.
* $250,000 for a water system and equipment for the Stanley Fire Dept.
* $247,500 to build the Santa Fe Desert Sage Affordable Housing project.