As we head into the final days of the session, we are still awaiting final action on the General Appropriations Act (HAFC Sub. for HB 2& HB 3/a). The bill number reflects the various amendments between the two chambers. The amended version passed the House Appropriations and Finance Committee on a 10-6 vote and is now on the House Agenda Concurrence Calendar.
The main capital outlay bill, SB 101, Severance Tax Bond Projects, is still awaiting action by the Senate Finance Committee. This bill was heard in Senate Finance on Tuesday afternoon, but has not yet come out of committee.
Check the Capital Outlay page to see the updated version once it clears committee: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Capital_Outlay
Governor’s Veto Message on SB 200 Says School Librarians Are Not Teachers.
We now have the Governor’s veto message on SB 200, a bill relating to eligibility for salary increments for staff certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. The phrase “licensed school employees” is substituted for the word “teachers”.
The companion bill, House Bill 130 by Rep. Christine Trujillo passed the House and was given a “do pass” recommendation in the Senate Education Committee. It is now in the Senate Finance Committee, where it seems unlikely to be heard in view of the Governor’s veto of SB 200.
SENATE EXECUTIVE MESSAGE NO. 10, March 11, 2017
The Honorable Mary Kay Papen, President Pro Tempore and Members of the New Mexico State Senate, State Capitol Building, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501
Honorable President Pro Tempore Papen and Members of the Senate:
Pursuant to the Constitution of the State of New Mexico, Article IV, Section 22, I hereby VETO and return SENATE BILL 200, as amended, enacted by the Fifty-Third Legislature, First Session, 2017.
Senate Bill 200 is based on the premise that school employees are more effective when they hold additional credentials. In reality, there is no evidence that suggests that student outcomes improve when school employees are certified through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
It would be irresponsible to take money away from classrooms to pay permanent stipends to non-teaching staff like library media specialists and school counselors, without regard for their impact on student outcomes. SB 200 would cost our state an estimated additional $137,297 each year at the expense of public school funding to other areas, which I am determined to protect, especially in this time of fiscal difficulty. This cost could also rise over time with limited ability to measure its return-on-investment.
As you know, I am dedicated to supporting our teachers, whose positive influence lasts well beyond a single school year as they prepare our students for lifelong success. The Public Education Department’s Pay for Performance program is growing in impact and demand, receiving 27 applications in 2016. In response, the department awarded $9.2 million to all 27 districts and charters. This method of rewarding effectiveness in the classroom recognizes some of our top-performing teachers for their hard work and dedication, and encourages all of our teachers to continue to work hard to make a difference for our students.
My Administration’s other teacher supports include our successful mentoring program, Teachers Pursuing Excellence; stipends for teachers in hard-to-staff areas like rural regions of the state or content areas like science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and debit cards to assist teachers in outfitting their classrooms for the new school year. These targeted investments will be measured for efficacy in the year ahead to assess return-on-investment.
I firmly believe in supporting our teachers who do a great good in our communities, but I am unable to sign SB 200, as it is not proven to be an effective tool in improving student outcomes.
Governor Martinez vetoed Senate Bill 24, pertaining to local government broadband development. The veto message did not give any reason for the veto.
Synopsis of SB 24 from the Legislative Council Service.
“Senate Bill 24 amends the Infrastructure Development Zone Act to provide for broadband
infrastructure development by a local government. It adjusts references in the definitions to New Mexico statute instead of referring to the Infrastructure Development Zone Act. Additionally, the “Infrastructure Development Zone” is added to the same definition. Lastly, in the definition of “services,” or section J subsection 12, “and any broadband technology infrastructure” is added to the end of the definition.”
The following is from the New Mexico Politics with Joe Monahan blog for Thursday, March 16th. http://joemonahansnewmexico.blogspot.com/
“NIX THE TAX?
Speaking of taxes, we blogged that perhaps some of the funding for the city and county libraries ought to be employed for after school programs. A number of readers rebelled against that, including this one:
RE: “The city should divert funding from public libraries to after school programs in the worst performing public schools.”
I asked a veteran educator, a two decade middle school principal, to respond to your idea: “Not so good,” she replied. “Robbing Peter to pay Paul never has improved our lot-or that of Peter or Paul.” She continued: “Libraries are critical components in a functioning democracy–ever more critical in these dangerous times.” Maybe it was a misprint; it would have made more sense had it read: “Put more money into libraries to promote after-school programs.” She nailed it, you missed it.”
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