Aid to private enterprise; veterans' scholarship program; student loans; job opportunities; affordable housing

New Mexico Constitution (1911)

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Neither the state nor any county, school district or municipality, except as otherwise provided in this constitution, shall directly or indirectly lend or pledge its credit or make any donation to or in aid of any person, association or public or private corporation or in aid of any private enterprise for the construction of any railroad except as provided in Subsections A through F of this section.

A. Nothing in this section prohibits the state or any county or municipality from making provision for the care and maintenance of sick and indigent persons.

B. Nothing in this section prohibits the state from establishing a veterans' scholarship program for Vietnam conflict veterans who are post-secondary students at educational institutions under the exclusive control of the state by exempting such veterans from the payment of tuition. For the purposes of this subsection, a "Vietnam conflict veteran" is any person who has been honorably discharged from the armed forces of the United States, who was a resident of New Mexico at the original time of entry into the armed forces from New Mexico or who has lived in New Mexico for ten years or more and who has been awarded a Vietnam campaign medal for service in the armed forces of this country in Vietnam during the period from August 5, 1964 to the official termination date of the Vietnam conflict as designated by executive order of the president of the United States.

C. The state may establish by law a program of loans to students of the healing arts, as defined by law, for residents of the state who, in return for the payment of educational expenses, contract with the state to practice their profession for a period of years after graduation within areas of the state designated by law.

D. Nothing in this section prohibits the state or a county or municipality from creating new job opportunities by providing land, buildings or infrastructure for facilities to support new or expanding businesses if this assistance is granted pursuant to general implementing legislation that is approved by a majority vote of those elected to each house of the legislature. The implementing legislation shall include adequate safeguards to protect public money or other resources used for the purposes authorized in this subsection. The implementing legislation shall further provide that:

  (1) each specific county or municipal project providing assistance pursuant to this subsection need not be approved by the legislature but shall be approved by the county or municipality pursuant to procedures provided in the implementing legislation; and

  (2) each specific state project providing assistance pursuant to this subsection shall be approved by law.

E. Nothing in this section prohibits the state, a county or a municipality from:

  (1) donating land owned by the state, county or municipality for the construction on it of affordable housing;

  (2) donating an existing building owned by the state, county or municipality for conversion or renovation into affordable housing; or

  (3) providing or paying the costs of infrastructure necessary to support affordable housing projects.

F. The provisions of Subsection E of this section are not self-executing. Before the described assistance may be provided, enabling legislation shall be enacted by a majority vote of the members elected to each house of the legislature. This enabling legislation shall:

  (1) define "affordable housing";

  (2) establish eligibility criteria for the recipients of land, buildings and infrastructure;

  (3) contain provisions to ensure the successful completion of affordable housing projects supported by assistance authorized pursuant to Subsection E of this section;

  (4) require a county or municipality providing assistance pursuant to Subsection E of this section to give prior formal approval by ordinance for a specific affordable housing assistance grant and include in the ordinance the conditions of the grant; and

  (5) require prior approval by law of a specific affordable housing assistance grant by the state.

    (As amended November 1, 1971, November 5, 1974, November 8, 1994 and November 5, 2002.)


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