Both already have at least a few legislative ideas, but they were reluctant to discuss details. Easley will push for gun safety and education; Trujillo will advocate for water preservation and green energy.
Both want to serve on the same three committees: Appropriation and Finance, Agriculture and Water Resources, and the Legislative Education Study Committee. It will be House Speaker Martinez’s task to appoint members to those committees — probably no later than Wednesday.
Martinez has lost about one out of four of her original Cabinet appointees, as well as about half of her initial hires in the Governor’s Office, including two deputy chiefs of staff.
Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell, who became the governor’s communications director last month after serving as a spokesman for the Children, Youth and Families Department, put a rosy spin on the turnover.
Knell said the average tenure for Cabinet secretaries at the state and federal levels is two to three years.
Sanchez, right, said cuts in education funding had left many schools with crowded classrooms and overburdened teachers. He said he was glad that Martinez wanted to restore some funding this year — she proposes an increase of $101 million for public schools — but Sanchez called her retention plan wrongheaded.Capitol Report New Mexico says that battle lines were drawn.
He said it would eliminate parents from the decision making, and it would continue failed strategies of teaching to standardized tests, not to students.
Members of the "Idle No More" movement organized a demonstration Tuesday outside the New Mexico statehouse as a new legislative session began. The Canadian-born movement began after Native Americans protested a Canadian proposal that they said would threaten their self-governance and control of traditional land bases.
Even if future numbers show the state narrowly avoided the double-dip, the state’s economy moved sideways in 2011 and the state is expected to have job growth rates of less than 2 percent through 2017, Reynis said during the eighth annual Economic Outlook Conference sponsored by Albuquerque Business First.
Natural population growth and new arrivals from other countries have increased New Mexico’s population, but 7,500 more people left for other states than migrated here from other states between July 2011 and July 2012, said UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research director Lee Reynis, who addressed the Eighth Annual Economic Outlook Conference on Tuesday in Albuquerque.
In the past, Udall explains, senators who wanted to filibuster a bill came down to the floor and talked, sometimes for hours—just like Jimmy Stewart. Today, however, the filibuster has morphed into a mere threat.
“Now, it’s secret and silent…somebody calls the cloakroom and says, ‘I don’t like this bill,’ and they don’t even have to be public about it,” Udall explains. “And so, if you get every senator doing that, the whole place grinds to a halt—and that’s what happened the last two years. I mean, we had the most unproductive Congress on the Senate side in history, and then the same’s true with the overall Congress.”
Conference organizers are touting the Mancos as "the next shale play in the United States."
"This is the renaissance of the San Juan Basin," conference organizer Daniel Fine said in a prepared statement. "We are seeing a revolution on the part of American technology in natural gas and shale oil recovery in shale formations."
Jemez Pueblo filed a lawsuit in federal court last summer to establish its aboriginal right to ownership of the property and the pueblo has gained the support of tribes throughout New Mexico.
The preserve is home to vast grasslands, the remnants of one of North America’s few super volcanoes and one of New Mexico’s most famous elk herds. The federal government bought the property from land grant heirs in 2000, with the goal of operating it as a working ranch while developing recreational opportunities for the public.
Voters county-wide will decide whether to renew the 2-mill levy during the Feb. 5 school board election. Living Designs Group president Doug Patterson addressed the board Tuesday, saying parents and community members are trying to get the word out about the so-called SB-9 funds, used for school facilities, technology and activity buses. He said proponents are trying to form a "grassroots groundswell of support" for the measure.