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Posted February 1, 2010

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Legislative Affairs Update: January 27, 2010

The latest news from the 2010 Legislative Session in Santa Fe.

Last week, representatives from the Albuquerque Public Schools presented to the House \ Senate education committees on an appropriation to help school districts pay for rising health insurance costs. PS is requesting about $3.8 million to cover the employer contribution for insurance premiums for FY 11. If APS does not receive this appropriation, the consequence could be a 17 percent increase in medical insurance premiums for APS employees, assuming that there would be no plan design changes.

  • Using Presbyterian High Option as an example the increase would be:
    • Single: $14.25 increase per paycheck, or $28.50 per month
    • Family: $38.47 increase per paycheck, or $76.94 per month

We made significant progress with committees and they heard about the consequences of not funding insurance would have on our employees.

We are one step closer to an education budget FY 11. On Wednesday the House Education Committee passed House Bill 3, also known as the Education Appropriation Act, which funds public education in New Mexico. Thankfully, the House Education Committee included our request for insurance costs in their budget. In addition they have increased funding, but this is very preliminary and there will be additional changes. We will keep fighting for funding for education and, most importantly, trying to ensure that employee salaries are not impacted.

The APS Board of Education held a special meeting on Wednesday in the State Capitol. At that meeting they voted to formally support HB 150, the Hispanic Education Act, sponsored by Rep. Rick Miera. Superintendent Brooks is committed to making APS the flagship district for closing the educational gap for all students. To read more about the bill go to: http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?Chamber=H&LegType=B&LegNo=150&year=10

APS is closely monitoring action the legislature may take in regard to capital appropriations. During the 2009 Special Session some of the appropriations to APS were frozen. A majority of those projects are now on the legislature’s “void” list, which would cancel the funding APS expected to receive. We are providing legislators with all the information possible in order to save the appropriations needed to complete projects already underway.

There are 21 days to go in the session, and the battles are beginning. We will keep you updated!

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