SENATE BILL 358
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2023
Carrie Hamblen and Gay G. Kernan and Crystal R. Diamond
RELATING TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT; ENACTING THE HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING ACT; CREATING THE HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING PROGRAM IN THE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT; CREATING A FUND; MAKING AN APPROPRIATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. [NEW MATERIAL] SHORT TITLE.--This act may be cited as the "Healthy Food Financing Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Healthy Food Financing Act:
A. "community development financial institution" means a specialized organization, certified by the United States department of the treasury, that provides financial services in low-income communities and to people who lack access to financing, including through community development banks, credit unions and loan and venture capital funds;
B. "department" means the economic development department;
C. "equitable food-oriented development working group" means a working group made up of low- or moderate-income farmers, food entrepreneurs, value-added food producers and food retailers from low- or moderate-income communities and members of a socially disadvantaged group and that reviews applications for grants and loans from eligible applicants pursuant to the Healthy Food Financing Act and makes recommendations to the community development financial institution or other banking institution on loans or grants to be made from the healthy food financing fund;
D. "for-profit" includes the designation of sole proprietorship;
E. "grocery store" means a for-profit or nonprofit self-service retail establishment that sells fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, dairy products, dry groceries and household products;
F. "healthy food" means nutrient-dense, culturally appropriate, fresh food that is locally or regionally grown, when possible;
G. "low-income community" means a census tract that, according to the most recent federal decennial census, has a poverty rate of at least twenty percent or in which the median family income does not exceed eighty percent of the greater of the statewide or metropolitan median family income;
H. "moderate-income community" means a census tract that, according to the most recent federal decennial census, has a median family income that is between eighty-one percent and ninety-five percent of the statewide median family income;
I. "socially disadvantaged group" means a group whose members have been subjected to racial, ethnic or gender prejudice because of their identity as members of a group without regard to their individual qualities; and
J. "underserved community" means a census tract that is determined to be an area with low supermarket access by the United States department of agriculture pursuant to its food access research atlas or other food desert designation criteria.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING PROGRAM GRANTS AND LOANS.--
A. The "healthy food financing program" is created. The department shall contract with a community development financial institution or banking institution to manage funds from the healthy food financing fund for the purposes of the Healthy Food Financing Act. The department, in coordination with the community development financial institution or banking institution, shall make competitive grants or loans in accordance with available funding and recommendations of the equitable food-oriented development working group. These grants or loans shall be made to applicants in the following eligible project areas:
(1) new grocery store and food retail site construction;
(2) grocery store renovation, expansion and infrastructure upgrades proposed to improve the availability and quality of healthy food;
(3) establishment of farmers' markets, farm stands, food cooperatives, community gardening projects and mobile food markets;
(4) land-based food production and agricultural operations, controlled environment food production operations and value-added operations; and
(5) food aggregation, processing and distribution projects, including hub distribution projects proposed to benefit local food producers and to improve food retailer access to fresh produce and healthy food.
B. A grant or loan made pursuant to this section for an eligible project may be used for the following project-related costs:
(1) site acquisition and preparation;
(2) construction and property improvements;
(3) equipment, supplies and furnishings;
(4) associated and relevant infrastructure;
(5) workforce training, certifications and licensing expenses;
(6) pre-development costs, including market studies and appraisals;
(7) working capital for first-time inventory and start-up costs;
(8) business process upgrades; and
(9) brand development and marketing.
C. Political subdivisions of the state, Indian nations, tribes and pueblos and for-profit and nonprofit entities and grocery stores may apply for loans and grants pursuant to this section.
D. To be eligible for a grant or loan pursuant to this section, an applicant shall provide documentation of the following, if relevant to the project's proposed scope:
(1) the applicant's plan to promote, for at least five years, job creation through the hiring of local residents in a manner representative of the community that the applicant proposes to serve;
(2) the applicant's plan to provide adequate considerations to the state through food or support services to low-income communities for at least five years;
(3) the applicant's project scope of work and the applicant's ability to implement the project for which the grant is sought;
(4) demonstration of the applicant's readiness to proceed, the project's financial soundness and the project's ability to become economically self-sustaining;
(5) the applicant's ability to repay to the healthy food financing fund any loan the applicant receives pursuant to this section;
(6) the ability for the project to become economically self-sustaining;
(7) the applicant's plan, approved by the department, to increase access and affordability of healthy food for low-income households, including plans to accept benefits from consumers pursuant to the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program, the special supplemental nutrition program for women, infants and children, double up food bucks and other state and federally funded nutrition incentive programs;
(8) the applicant's plan to allocate food retail space for the sale of perishable foods if the loan or grant sought is for a grocery store; and
(9) the applicant's plan to use the grant or loan to expand capacity for the sale of perishable foods if the loan or grant is not for a grocery store.
E. In addition to the requirements provided in Subsection D of this section, to be eligible for a loan or grant pursuant to this section, an applicant shall provide services specified by contract to constitute adequate consideration.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] HEALTHY FOOD FINANCING FUND.--The "healthy food financing fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund. The department shall administer the fund. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations and income from investment of the fund. Money in the fund is appropriated to the department for the purpose of contracting with community development financial institutions and banking institutions to make grants and loans pursuant to the Healthy Food Financing Act and for administration of that act. Money in the fund shall be disbursed on warrants of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of economic development.
SECTION 5. APPROPRIATION.--One million dollars ($1,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the healthy food financing fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2024 and subsequent fiscal years to carry out the requirements of the Healthy Food Financing Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
SECTION 6. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2023.