Senate committee may hold summer hearing on Skandera

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Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2013 8:20 pm | Updated: 3:56 pm, Tue Mar 26, 2013.

The Senate Rules Committee may continue its confirmation hearing for Education Secretary-designate Hanna Skandera sometime this spring or summer. But even so, Skandera would have to wait until the next legislative session in early 2014 before the full Senate body can vote on her confirmation.

During the recent 60-day legislative session, the Rules Committee held about 10 hours of testimony and questioning over three days of confirmation hearings on Skandera. But it didn’t finish the process.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • sfobserver posted at 10:20 am on Tue, Mar 26, 2013.

    sfobserver Posts: 63

    Whether one likes Skandera's program is really irrelevant. Had the legislature voted on her confirmation in the first year, it would have only looked at her qualifications. If she so blatantly does not meet these qualifications then why have hours and hours of hearings on her actions since the confrimation? Just vote her out. These ongoing hearings orchestrated by Linda Lopez are obviously political. Please Sen Lopez stop wasting taxpayers money and instead look to overturn the (late) passage of a tax bill (beyond the noon hour) and work to help cities that are going to be hurt by the unexpected shortage of funds ( a real issue).

  • Gregorio Ambrosini posted at 5:54 pm on Mon, Mar 25, 2013.

    Ambro Posts: 38

    I am subscribed, yet your site won't let me read the articles. Nor will it change my picture. What do I do?

  • Carolyn Garcia-Martinez posted at 8:54 am on Mon, Mar 25, 2013.

    CarolynDM Posts: 427

    We know. This article has been up for going on three days, as have most of them and some even longer. If you're really going to start charging for this thing, keep it updated. Geeze.

  • WartyBliggens posted at 5:20 am on Mon, Mar 25, 2013.

    WartyBliggens Posts: 8

    The problem here is that Ms. Skandera is being forced to prepare her act for the circus instead of doing her job. It is another example of the depredations on productivity by micro-managing politicians, who really have not done jack to improve the livability and economy of this state for the people in years. I have never seen a more worthless crew in the Roundhouse or how strenuously they strive to sink to the low intellection and performance standards of the US Congress. Fortunately, Ms, Skandera has until 2014 to work before being fired by people who can't see beyond their terror change and innovation, during which she might add polishing her resume to the task of preparing for her next appearance in the circus.

  • DeanWest posted at 8:38 pm on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    DeanWest Posts: 8

    If Ms. Skandara was just a political hack, I wouldn't worry but she's much worse. She's the new face for private education corporations who want a chunk of the largest budget in the State in New Mexico. You know, those same Wall Street corporations that crashed the economy now want to educate your children. Unfortunately, for those vultures, it's never about the kids; it's only about the bottom line.

  • Sabine Strohem posted at 8:52 am on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Sabine_Strohem Posts: 119

    Hear hear.

  • Sabine Strohem posted at 8:52 am on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    Sabine_Strohem Posts: 119

    Summer? Great. I hope educators from across the state SHOW UP for the hearings.

  • Jeff Carr posted at 8:10 am on Sun, Mar 24, 2013.

    CitizenKane Posts: 27

    I applaud Senator Lopez's due diligence in this matter. Until we take this position away from the Governor, no matter what party, and clarify qualifications, such as holding a New Mexico Administration License, which requires a minimum of six years in the class room, we will get stuck with political hacks.


Key issues facing lawmakers


Backdrop: New Mexico gained only 1,700 jobs during the past year ending in November. That's a growth rate of 0.2 percent and the lowest in the region. New Mexcio's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in November compared with 6.7 percent a year earlier.

Proposals: Gov. Susana Martinez proposed expanding programs that can help bring nurses, dentists and other medical providers to rural areas. She also wants to provide $7.5 million for an endowment fund to attract top porfessors and researchers at colleges and universities. The governor recommends broadening tax incentivies to encourage startup companies as well as research and development. Democrats are pushing to increase the stat's minimum wage, which has been $7.50 an hour since 2009. Some lawmakers want automatic cost-of-living increases in the wage rate.


Backdrop: The current state budget is $5.9 billion, and revenues are expected to reach nearly $6.2 billion in the fiscal year starting in July. That provides about $239 million in "new money" for lawmakers and the governor for budget increases and to offset tax cuts. The state has cash reserves of more than $500 million, but that could shrink because of accounting discrepancies stretching back more than six years.

Proposals: Martinez has recommended a 3 percent budget increase compared with about 4 percent proposed by the Legislative Finance Committee. Martinez proposes targeted increases for hard-to-fill jobs such as state police. But the legislative panel advocates across-the-board raises for all state agency workers and educators, with higher amounts for those in certain jobs, including judges, state police and social workers.


Backdrop: About $600 million in bond financing is available for capital improvement projects. Some of that goes for specific purposes, including public schools and projects on tribal lands. However, much of the financing will be divvied up for new projects. 

Proposals: Martinez proposes earmarking about $112 million in bond proceeds for water projects across the state. The governor also recommends creatinga  new fund that can provide emergency assistance to communities with drinking water problems. The Legislative Finance Committee has recommended $10 million in bond financing for highway maintenance and $6 million for a road to the state's spaceport.


Backdrop: Public schools, colleges and universities get nearly $3 out of every $5 in the operating budget. The high school graduation rate was 70 percent in the last school year, and nearly half of graduates enrolling in state colleges in 2011 and 2012 required remedial courses.

Proposals: Martinez will renew a proposal to require schools to hold back third-graders who can't read proficiently. Some Democrats and a coalition of social advocacy groups want to earmark part of the yearly payout from a state permanent fund to provide more money for early-childhood education. Lawmakers also will consider ways to shore up a lottery-financed college scholarship program. Some proposals would change the program to make the aid need-based and provide a flat dollar amount for scholarships. 

The Associated Press

Session dates - 2014

• December 16, 2013 - January 17 Legislation may be prefiled

• January 21 Opening day (noon)

• February 5 Deadline for introduction

• February 20 Session ends (noon)

• March 12 Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed

• May 21 Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date

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