It cleared another hurdle in Santa Fe on Wednesday and passed its first Senate committee with a five-to-one vote.
“It is proposed that additional dollars be brought into the state of New Mexico to get school districts, school buildings and HVAC systems in the position they need for schools,” said Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton, a sponsor of the bill.
Senator Craig Brandt pointed out that upgrading school ventilation systems is not currently part of the New Mexico Public Education Department’s reopening requirements.
“I don’t think there was any condition attached to it saying that you had to replace the HVAC systems to do this,” he said. “So I think I’m trying to figure out why we’re doing this, not that I’m saying we don’t have HVAC systems in our state that need to be updated, but it doesn’t depend on the schools opening up on it?”
The bill now goes to the second and final Senate Committee.
If it happens to this committee too, it will go to the Senate for a vote.