HOUSE BILL 191
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Tara L. Lujan and Joseph L. Sanchez and Cynthia Borrego
RELATING TO ANIMAL WELFARE; ENACTING THE ANIMAL WELFARE FUNDING ACT; REQUIRING THE DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION TO ADMINISTER ANIMAL WELFARE GRANTS; CREATING THE ANIMAL WELFARE TRUST FUND AND THE ANIMAL WELFARE GRANT FUND; PROVIDING DUTIES; 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 "Animal Welfare Funding Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Animal Welfare Funding Act:
A. "department" means the department of finance and administration;
B. "qualified entity" means a state agency, a county or municipal government or its agent, a tribal government or its agent or a nonprofit corporation; and
C. "trust fund" means the animal welfare trust fund.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] ANIMAL WELFARE GRANTS--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS.--
A. A qualified entity shall apply for an animal welfare grant for a project relating to domestic cats, dogs or equines in a form provided by the department. An application for an animal welfare grant shall identify that funding will be used:
(1) for construction, renovation or remodeling to build, maintain or improve an animal shelter as defined pursuant to Section 77-1B-2 NMSA 1978 or an equine rescue or retirement facility as defined pursuant to Section 77-2-30 NMSA 1978;
(2) to purchase vehicles, equipment, furniture, software, training materials or supplies with the purpose of:
(a) reducing animal intake and euthanasia rates at animal shelters, equine rescues or retirement facilities;
(b) mitigating threats to public safety, livestock or other domestic animals due to loose or stray animals;
(c) investigating and responding to reports of animal cruelty; or
(d) providing emergency housing and care for seized animals suspected of being cruelly treated in violation of local, state or federal law;
(3) to provide animal feed, shelter material, including straw bedding and dog houses, fencing and kennels, veterinary care, temporary housing of dogs, cats or equines of hospitalized, incarcerated or unhoused persons and other supplies to a person or household whose income does not exceed two hundred percent of the federal poverty level to aid in humane animal care;
(4) for the development and distribution of animal welfare education and outreach materials to be distributed to the public; and
(5) to contract with the state or other eligible entities as necessary to carry out the business of an animal shelter, an equine rescue or retirement facility or a project or program as described in Paragraphs (1) through (4) of this subsection.
B. The department shall receive and review applications for animal welfare grants. In addition to the other requirements provided pursuant to the Animal Welfare Funding Act, the department shall provide a grant only if:
(1) the application demonstrates a public benefit, as defined by rules promulgated by the department; and
(2) funding is available.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] ANIMAL WELFARE GRANTS--DEPARTMENT--DUTIES--REPORTING.--
A. The department shall promulgate rules regarding:
(1) applying and qualifying for animal welfare grants;
(2) application procedures, including forms, and other requirements for animal welfare grants; and
(3) the criteria for selecting applications and awarding animal welfare grants, including:
(a) determining if the application meets the requirements of Section 3 of the Animal Welfare Funding Act;
(b) considering supplementary or matching funding, intergovernmental partnerships or public- private partnerships to complete a proposed project pursuant to Subsection A of Section 3 of the Animal Welfare Funding Act; and
(c) evidence necessary to include in an application to establish that the grant will have a direct impact on animal welfare.
B. By September 30, 2025 and every succeeding September 30 thereafter, the department shall report to the governor and the appropriate interim legislative committee on grants awarded during the previous fiscal year and the progress of projects funded.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] ANIMAL WELFARE TRUST FUND--CREATED.--
A. The "animal welfare trust fund" is created in the state treasury. The trust fund consists of appropriations, grants, gifts, donations and income from investment of the fund. Money in the trust fund shall be invested by the state investment officer as land grant permanent funds are invested pursuant to Chapter 6, Article 8 NMSA 1978. Earnings from investment of the trust fund shall be credited to the trust fund. Money in the trust fund shall not be expended for any purpose, but an annual distribution shall be made to the animal welfare grant fund in accordance with Subsection B of this section.
B. On July 1, 2025 and on July 1 of each year thereafter, an annual distribution shall be made from the trust fund to the animal welfare grant fund in the amount of one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) until that amount is less than an amount equal to four and seven-tenths percent of the average of the year-end market values of the trust fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years. Thereafter, the amount of the annual distribution shall be four and seven-tenths percent of the average of the year-end market values of the trust fund for the immediately preceding five calendar years.
SECTION 6. [NEW MATERIAL] ANIMAL WELFARE GRANT FUND.--The "animal welfare grant fund" is created in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations, distributions from the trust fund and income from the investment of the fund. Money in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall revert to the trust fund. The department shall administer the fund. Money in the fund is appropriated by the legislature to the department to provide grants pursuant to the provisions of the Animal Welfare Funding Act and to pay administrative costs of the department in administering the Animal Welfare Funding Act. Disbursements from the fund shall be made by warrant of the secretary of finance and administration pursuant to vouchers signed by the secretary of finance and administration or the secretary's authorized representative.
SECTION 7. APPROPRIATION.--Ten million dollars ($10,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the animal welfare trust fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2025 and subsequent fiscal years to carry out the purposes of the Animal Welfare Funding Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
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