SENATE BILL 542
52nd legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2015
RELATING TO WATER; SPECIFYING THE PROCESS FOR APPROVING ENCUMBRANCES AND EXPENDITURES FROM THE NEW MEXICO UNIT FUND; CONDITIONING ACTIONS OF THE INTERSTATE STREAM COMMISSION WHEN ACTING AS THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 72-14-45 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 2011, Chapter 99, Section 1) is amended to read:
"72-14-45. NEW MEXICO UNIT FUND--PURPOSE--APPROPRIATION.--
A. The "New Mexico unit fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund [shall consist] consists of money distributed to the state pursuant to Paragraphs (2)(D)(i) and (ii) of Section 403(f) of the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968, as amended by Section 107(a) of the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act, Public Law 108-451, December 10, 2004; other money made available to the fund pursuant to Section 212 of the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act, Public Law 108-451, December 10, 2004; appropriations; grants; and donations or bequests to the fund.
B. Income from the fund shall be credited to the fund. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund. Money in the fund shall not be transferred, other than through an intra-agency transfer, to any other fund.
C. Money in the fund shall be administered by the interstate stream commission and is appropriated to the [interstate stream] commission for expenditure in fiscal year 2012 and subsequent fiscal years to comply with the provisions of the federal laws cited in Subsection A of this section. Those provisions of federal law establish that the purpose of money in the fund is to pay the costs of the New Mexico unit or other water utilization alternatives to meet water supply demands in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico, as determined by the [interstate stream] commission in consultation with the southwest New Mexico water study group or its successor, including costs associated with planning and environmental compliance activities and environmental mitigation and restoration. Money in the fund shall not be expended for any purpose other than the purpose provided in this section. [The interstate stream commission may adopt rules it deems necessary to carry out the purpose of this section.]
D. On or before November 15 of each year, the interstate stream commission shall report to the appropriate legislative interim committee dealing with water and natural resources and to the legislative finance committee on:
(1) the status of the New Mexico unit fund;
(2) the distribution of money from the New Mexico unit fund to implement the purpose of the fund pursuant to Subsection C of this section; and
(3) proposed uses and levels of funding projected for the following fiscal year.
E. Expenditures from the fund shall be made on warrants signed by the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the director of the interstate stream commission upon the delegation of authority by the interstate stream commission.
F. The interstate stream commission shall complete the following actions prior to taking any action that if completed would result in a cumulative total of five million dollars ($5,000,000) or more expended from the New Mexico unit fund:
(1) recognize any successor organization to the southwest New Mexico water study group;
(2) adopt rules establishing minimum requirements for the consultation with the successor to the southwest New Mexico water study group pursuant to the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 as a condition precedent to each encumbrance or associated group of encumbrances committing money from the New Mexico unit fund, including conducting all consultations with the successor to the southwest New Mexico water study group publicly by the delegated representatives of the commission and the successor of the southwest New Mexico water study group as follows:
(a) with advance notice and audio- and video-recording streamed over the internet and made publicly available during and after the consultation;
(b) with opportunities for public comment; and
(c) with written minutes summarizing the proposal, points of discussion and comments, and conclusions;
(3) adopt rules establishing minimum requirements for the commission to consider and to take action to approve or disapprove each binding commitment of money from the New Mexico unit fund in an open public meeting conducted in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. The rules shall establish the procedures to receive, consider and respond to the written record of each consultation, associated public comments and the recommendations of the secretary of the commission prior to any action to approve or disapprove each proposed encumbrance of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more from the New Mexico unit fund; and
(4) adopt rules establishing commission procedures to provide substantive and timely public notice of expenditures of less than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) and the specific purpose, relevance and expected time of completion.
G. In advance of the interstate stream commission's consideration of each commitment of money of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or more from the New Mexico unit fund, the secretary of the commission shall provide to the commission the secretary's recommendations based on the consultation in Paragraph (3) of Subsection F of this section, which shall describe:
(1) the specific deliverable product resulting from the expenditure;
(2) the commission's plan to measure contract compliance and work quality; and
(3) the secretary's determination that the expenditure of money will yield results that are achievable, relevant and timely, determined through the valid and adequate application of scientific or engineering principles, and will meet or are required to meet a specified water supply demand in the southwest water planning region of New Mexico or another specified water planning region of New Mexico."
SECTION 2. A new section of Chapter 72, Article 14 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:
"[NEW MATERIAL] CONDITIONS FOR COMMISSION ACTING AS THE STATE TO IMPLEMENT THE ARIZONA WATER SETTLEMENTS ACT OF 2004.--
A. Interstate stream commission actions set forth in the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 as actions of the state of New Mexico shall be preceded by the commission's substantive consideration and deliberations conducted in full compliance with the state policy stated in Subsection A of Section 10-15-1 NMSA 1978 of pertinent facts presented in public hearings and the recommendations of its hearing officer as approved by its director and secretary:
(1) the commission's designation of the New Mexico CAP entity or recommendation to the United States secretary of the interior to delegate authorities to the New Mexico CAP entity shall be preceded by the commission's approval of a written assessment of the financial, administrative and technical capability and capacity to fulfill the New Mexico CAP entity's responsibilities as set forth in a joint powers agreement between the commission and the New Mexico CAP entity and the commission's consideration of public comments and the associated recommendations of the hearing examiner; and
(2) the commission's authorization of the New Mexico CAP entity to assume responsibility for the design, construction, operation, maintenance or replacement of all or any combination of these functions of a New Mexico unit of the central Arizona project pursuant to the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 shall include the commission's specific and complete definition of all major components of the New Mexico unit, the commission's findings with supporting rationale that it expects the proposed configuration of the New Mexico unit is technically and financially feasible and will provide specified volumes of water to meet specified water supply needs within specified time frames at specified annual cash flows and maximum costs planned to be paid by the state of New Mexico, New Mexico water users or taxpayers, and all other planned sources of funding, and the commission's consideration of public comments.
B. The secretary of the interstate stream commission shall determine the probability of receiving any funds up to the maximum of twenty-eight million dollars ($28,000,000) pursuant to Section 212(k) of the Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004 prior to the commission's assessment of financial feasibility.
C. The interstate stream commission shall obtain and respond to public comment prior to its approval of the United States secretary of the interior's contracts with water users for water from the New Mexico unit and shall encourage the secretary of the interior to provide for public observation of the negotiation of these contracts.
D. As used in this section:
(1) "New Mexico CAP entity" means the entity or entities to be formed or designated by New Mexico to enter into the New Mexico unit agreement for the design, construction or development, operation and maintenance of the New Mexico unit;
(2) "New Mexico unit" means the facilities constructed or developed to consumptively use water from the Gila river or San Francisco river and that are identified as a unit of the central Arizona project authorized by Sections 301(a) (4) and 304 of the federal Colorado River Basin Project Act of 1968, as amended by Section 212 of the federal Arizona Water Settlements Act, Public Law 108-451, December 10, 2004; and
(3) "New Mexico unit agreement" means the agreement between the New Mexico CAP entity and the United States secretary of the interior governing construction, ownership and operation of the New Mexico unit and related terms and conditions that the secretary is required to enter into at the request of the New Mexico CAP entity."
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