#NMLEG Progressive Bill of the Day | 02-19-15 & 2-20-15

Here are some great happenings from the NM Senate over the last few days regarding a new jobs package and a bill to raise teacher salaries. Here’s what the Senate Democrats had to say Thursday about their “Ready to Work” jobs package:
“Democratic leaders in the New Mexico Senate today announced an ambitious package of legislation that would create 73,000 new jobs and stimulate economic growth. The Democrats’ ‘Ready to Work’ Jobs Package contains more than 40 bills introduced in the current Session that address the need for more employment and economic activity in urban and rural areas of the state, across a broad range of occupations.  Democrats contrasted their legislative priorities with the Governor’s agenda of passing measures that they characterized as “symbolic”, including so-called right-to-work and other measures. “Today we articulated our vision of the kind of actions we can take in this Legislative Session to build a better New Mexico.

Senate Shake-Up Prompts Leadership Change for Dems

Elections have consequences, and for some those consequences are pretty nice.   State Sen. Tim Keller (D) won election to State Auditor leaving his International District (ABQ) seat vacant. Bernalillo County Commissioners announced last week their intent to appoint State Rep. Mimi Stewart (D-21) to Keller’s senate seat when he takes on his new role in January. (The commission is expected to take up the appointment for Stewart’s seat late this week). Keller was also the Senate Majority Whip for the Democratic caucus and his departure left an opening for another senator to assume that role.

Sen. M. Padilla: State school board would put professionals in charge of education

One of the bills getting a lot of attention at the legislature this year would end the practice of letting governors appoint bureaucrats to run the state’s Public Education Department.   Instead, voters would get to vote on a Constitutional amendment creating a state board of education.  This note from the bill’s sponsor, Sen. M. Padilla:

Senate Joint Resolution 2, my legislation designed to take politics out of public education, return the classroom back to the teacher, and put professional educators in charge of public education in New Mexico will be heard in its first committee hearing tomorrow, Friday, January 31, at the state capitol building in room 321, at 9:00 AM. As promised, I want you to know when my legislation is being heard, so that you can attend and make public comments about the legislation, or you can watch online. Your participation and real world description of how legislation will affect real people is invaluable, and I invite you to join me for this hearing.  There will be a time following my presentation of the legislation for public comment. This legislation was prefiled in early December, and will be amended, by me, to include additional language, to further strengthen what it is designed to accomplish. Click here for my legislative web site.