HOUSE BILL 208
56th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2024
Rod Montoya and Cathrynn N. Brown and Ambrose Castellano
and Art De La Cruz and Willie D. Madrid
RELATING TO EDUCATION; ENACTING THE TRADE EDUCATION ASSISTANCE ACT; CREATING THE TRADE EDUCATION ASSISTANCE 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 "Trade Education Assistance Act".
SECTION 2. [NEW MATERIAL] DEFINITIONS.--As used in the Trade Education Assistance Act:
A. "department" means the higher education department; and
B. "trade education program" means a program approved by the department to train individuals to qualify for licenses or certificates of competence issued pursuant to the Construction Industries Licensing Act.
SECTION 3. [NEW MATERIAL] STIPENDS--ELIGIBILITY--AMOUNTS.--
A. An individual may be awarded a stipend pursuant to the Trade Education Assistance Act if the individual:
(1) is a resident of New Mexico;
(2) has earned at least a high school diploma or its equivalent at least two years prior to being awarded a stipend but has not earned a baccalaureate degree;
(3) is participating in a trade education program;
(4) claims at least one dependent on the individual's federal or state income tax return and is not claimed as a dependent on another individual's federal or state income tax return; and
(5) has complied with other rules promulgated by the department to carry out the provisions of the Trade Education Assistance Act.
B. Stipends shall be awarded for periods no longer than six months. Stipends may be renewed for not longer than a total of two years.
C. A stipend may be terminated if a recipient fails to satisfactorily participate in a trade education program approved by the department.
D. Stipends may be used by recipients for living expenses incurred while participating in a trade education program approved by the department.
E. Stipends shall not exceed thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) per calendar year.
SECTION 4. [NEW MATERIAL] DEPARTMENT DUTIES--RULEMAKING AUTHORITY--REPORTING.--
A. The department shall administer the Trade Education Assistance Act and shall award stipends to individuals the department certifies as participating in a trade education program as approved by the department.
B. The department shall promulgate rules as necessary to implement the Trade Education Assistance Act.
C. The department shall report by November 1 of each year to the legislative finance committee and the department of finance and administration on the:
(1) status of the trade education assistance fund;
(2) number of individuals who received stipends in the prior fiscal year and the amount of stipends received; and
(3) types of trade education programs approved by the department and the number of stipend recipients participating in each type of program in the prior calendar year.
SECTION 5. [NEW MATERIAL] TRADE EDUCATION ASSISTANCE FUND.--The "trade education assistance fund" is created as a nonreverting fund in the state treasury. The fund consists of appropriations, gifts, grants, donations to the fund and income from investment of the fund. The department shall administer the fund, and money in the fund is appropriated to the department to implement the provisions of the Trade Education Assistance 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 higher education or the secretary's authorized representative.
SECTION 6. APPROPRIATION.--One hundred million dollars ($100,000,000) is appropriated from the general fund to the trade education assistance fund for expenditure in fiscal year 2025 and subsequent fiscal years for the purpose of implementing the provisions of the Trade Education Assistance Act. Any unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the general fund.
SECTION 7. EFFECTIVE DATE.--The effective date of the provisions of this act is July 1, 2024.
- 4 -