Last week was another busy one in Santa Fe, especially on the education front. Most of the most controversial and divisive bills from the Governor/House Republicans have now made their way through the House. So look for most of the action to switch over to the Senate in the final three weeks (!) of the session.
As always, ProgressNow NM was at the Roundhouse everyday last week standing up for progressive issues and providing some of the best legislative coverage around.
Look below for a recap of the top stories that came out of Santa Fe last week. But before you get there, make sure to check out what’s happening early this week.
HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Monday – This week’s Moral Monday event will focus on hunger, poverty, and wage theft issues. “Hunger Awareness Day” will feature The Union Town Criers and Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales, among others. Join us from 12p – 2p on Monday at the Roundhouse.
Monday – Albuquerque NOW (National Organization for Women) will celebrate Women’s History and equal rights in the capitol Rotunda from 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Tuesday – Planned Parenthood & Southwest Women’s Law Center grassroots lobby day, 9am – 2pm. RSVP here.
From Planned Parenthood:
In response to the greatest opposition that we seen in years, we are holding a Lobby Day next Tuesday. Getting boots on the ground and talking directly with your legislators has been proven to make the best, most effective impact on legislation.
Come down and join us!
This is your chance to get inside information, legislative trainings and a detailed look at all the anti-choice bills we are facing and the impacts they would have on New Mexico families.
LAST WEEK’S TOP STORIES
More high-stakes testing is about to begin in New Mexico’s schools. But many school districts are misleading parents and students as to their rights to “opt-out” of such testing. ProgressNow NM filed a series of reports this week looking at the PARCC test controversy, what the tests are, who’s behind them, and who gains from them:
- Naming names: These school districts are bullying parents into PARCC testing they can actually opt students out of
- What is PARCC and why do our kids have to take it? Also known as: who gets paid and how much?
- School district says parents will “not be discouraged” from opting kids out of new PARCC tests
The Governor’s communications director gave us all a lesson in the wrong way to do media relations this week as he scolded two of the state’s most seasoned, respected reporters for telling the truth. Chris Sanchez’s gaffe, however, also provided major insight into the vindictive, behind-the-scenes strategies of Governor Martinez and NM House Republicans.
“Voters simply do not have any appetite for broad based tax breaks this year, especially those that would go to the wealthy and big business.” However, that didn’t stop House Republicans from looking for even more tax breaks for NM’s wealthiest this week.
The Bernalillo County Commission followed through on instituting a 1/8 cent tax increase to fund mental health services that was overwhelmingly approved by voters in the 2014 election (but was vetoed on the city level by Mayor Richard Berry).
#NMLEG Progressive Bills of the Day
Arts Education in K-12 Schools (Sen. Cisco McSorley)
Helping Low-Income Homeowners with Energy Conservation (Sen. Richard Martinez)
Increased Public School Funding in State Budget (House Democrats)
Improving Conditions for NM’s Homeless (Rep. Stephanie Maez)
OTHER STORIES FROM THE LEGISLATURE
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