As we head into the final week of the session, we are awaiting final action on the the General Appropriations Act (HAFC Sub. for HB 2& HB 3/a). The bill number reflects the various amendments between the two chambers. The appropriation amount for the New Mexico State Library has remained the same through this process, so the state grants-in-aid programs will likely continue at their current levels. Once the bill passes, the Governor could veto the whole bill, which might necessitate a special session.
The main capital outlay bill, SB 101, Severance Tax Bond Projects, is still awaiting action by the Senate Finance Committee. This bill will be heard in Senate Finance Monday afternoon, and is likely be fast-tracked once it comes out of committee. The version of SB 101 posted currently on the Legislature’s website is a “dummy” bill showing only a few projects. We do not know how many of the twenty one library projects proposed by 37 individual legislators will be included in the final bill. Check the Capital Outlay page to see the updated version once it clears committee: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Capital_Outlay
There are two legislative items which pertain to public school libraries. > Read more…
House Memorial 49 (Maestas)
from the Legislative Education Study Committee analysis
“House Memorial 49 (HM49) requests the Legislative Education Study Committee (LESC) or another appropriate interim committee to hold a hearing on media literacy and best practices. HM49 also requests the Public Education Department (PED) and local school districts to develop best practices and to offer media literacy.
HM49 defines media literacy as “the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, develop, produce and interpret media, and it encompasses the foundational skills that lead to digital citizenship.” Digital citizenship “requires a diverse set of skills related to current technology and social media use and includes the norms of appropriate, responsible and healthy behavior.””
This legislation is being promoted by a national group called “Media Literacy Now!”, which has a model statute they are encouraging each state to adopt. There is some recognition that “teacher-librarians” are key players in promoting digital literacy. At the House Education Committee hearing on HM 49, Joe Sabatini noted that school librarians had been teaching information literacy from the advent of the internet. Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas is interested in this subject, and in 2009 sponsored a bill (HB 342) that allowed media literacy to be taught as an elective class in public school grades 6-12.
The Legislative Interim Education Study Committee will be putting this subject on their agenda for a one hour hearing sometime this summer. NMLA’s ASLSIG will be following this issue and participating in the hearing.
HB 130/SB 200
Public school librarians are also following a bill relating to eligibility for salary increments for staff certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The phrase “licenced school employees” is substituted for the word “teachers”. This is in House Bill 130 by Rep. Christine Trujillo. The bill passed the House and was given a “do pass” recommendation in the Senate Education Committee on a 4-3 party line vote. Senators Brandt, Gould and White voting against. It is now in the Senate Finance Committee, where it has not been scheduled for today’s meeting.
A amended version of the companion bill, SB 200, (Sen. John Sapien) passed through both houses with a unanimous 41-0 vote in the Senate and a 68-1 yes vote in the House. Governor Martinez vetod the bill. Her veto message has not yet been posted on the Legislature’s website.
Both houses passed and the Governor signed Senate Public Affairs Committee amendment to HB113/HSIVCS/aHLEDC, which calls for the development of a statewide broadband network
Here is the Legislative Education Study Committee’s summary of the final version of the bill.
“Synopsis of SPAC Amendment”
The Senate Public Affairs Committee amendment to HB113/HSIVCS/aHLEDC strikes the bill in its entirety and in its place amends sections of the Department of Information Technology Act.
The amendment instructs the secretary of the Department of Information Technology (DoIT), as the chief information officer, to develop a statewide broadband network in conjunction with the Public Education Department (PED), the Higher Education Department (HED), state universities, other educational institutions, the Public School Capital Outlay Council (PSCOC), political subdivisions of the state, Indian nations, tribes and pueblos, the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) and telecommunication network service providers. The secretary of DoIT would also be responsible for the coordination and aggregation of telecommunications network services for all executive, legislative, and judicial branches as well as other publicly funded entities and educational institutions that request to be included in the network.
To provide the network and related facilities, DoIT would enter into contractual agreements with telecommunications providers. DoIT and PED would coordinate to apply for reimbursements from the federal universal fund, also known as E-rate, managed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In addition, DoIT is tasked with establishing a rate structure based on costs, including administrative expenses, and charging participants accordingly.
The amendment also adds a new section to the Department of Information Technology Act that allows Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos to connect to the statewide broadband network in exchange for a right-of-way agreement with the chief information officer of DoIT. The chief information officer would apply for reimbursements from the FCC on behalf of Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos that execute a right-of-way agreement.
Synopsis of HLEDC Amendment
The House Labor and Economic Development Committee amendment to HB113/HSIVCS adds “political subdivisions, Indian nations, tribes, and pueblos” to the list of entities which could choose to participate in the statewide broadband network for which the chief information officer would aggregate demand and reduce costs. This amendment fixes a technical issue to make language in HB113/HSIVCS consistent.”
The 2017 Session of the New Mexico Legislature will adjourn at noon Saturday March 18.
Joe Sabatini, Co-Chair
New Mexico Library Association
Category: Legislative Update