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Democratic Response to State of the State Address

Rep. Rhonda King and Sen. Linda Lopez delivered the Democratic response to the Governor's State of the State address on Tuesday, January 18, 2011. In reference to public education, they said:

…We agree with Gov. Martinez’s call for action on government efficiency, transparency and creating jobs. We also agree that more must be done to ensure that every child leaves the third-grade able to read. And we hope the governor acknowledges all of the hard work we have done in the past few years. We have provided a solid foundation with significant improvements to the educational system and with legislation that fosters economic growth. We hope she will work with us to build on this foundation so that we can continue to move New Mexico forward.

In the past few years we’ve made sure that our most vulnerable citizens are taken care of during these challenging financial times while increasing teacher pay and maintaining classroom budgets so New Mexico’s children do not falter. Times remain challenging and people still need help….

…We will continue to promote the value of a child’s education. We believe public education is not only a right; it’s a promise to our children and grandchildren. We must make sure all our children have the opportunity to succeed.

We must not forget the value of our community colleges and branch campuses. We understand how important these institutions are to New Mexico. They provide high-wage jobs in our communities and they also provide the opportunity for our citizens to receive training to increase job skills that they might not otherwise have access to…

…There are – and will be – legitimate differences. And when those differences emerge, we will not be afraid to stand up for our constituents. And we know that we, too, have to find a common ground in order to keep New Mexico moving forward.

We pledge to work with the new governor to get things done, achieve these goals and keep our state growing.

We pledge this because the people of New Mexico deserve nothing less.

We wish the new administration well. And we look forward to working with the executive branch to meet the needs of our state during these challenging times. We hope to provide New Mexicans with a balanced budget that supports education, promotes job growth, and preserves programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens.

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