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2021 Legislative Session Updates

Posted: January 22, 2021

January 22, 2021

The 55th Session is completing week one and both chambers adjourned after the first day. House will reconvene on January 22, but the Senate not until February 1st, though House committees continued to meet this week. Both Senate and House leadership announced some new committee chair assignments and membership.

Our Government Affairs team for this 2021 60-day session is joined by a student intern from Eldorado High School, Olivia Traub. Her first assignment was to create a blog to share a student perspective on education policy during the NM Legislative session. In an upcoming edition, I asked her to reflect on the interim pre-session analysis of the three budget recommendations going into the session, reported by LESC on January 18th.  LESC created a FY22 Budget Recommendation Analysis.

There are currently 246 bills introduced in either the House or the Senate.

House Appropriations heard a budget revenue update and agency budget requests, including that from PED.  The Legislative Finance Committee staff spent a significant amount of time ensuring that members understood the hundreds of millions of dollars that are coming from the Federal Government to support education. Additionally, the LFC is proposing $21 million dollars to be appropriated to the School Equalization Guarantee (SEG) to finish the payment for Impact Aid. This will take care of the Impact Aid issue that was in the paper this week. Secretary Stewart went over his priorities that include the Family Income Index. This is the first of many budget hearings. We will provide you with an analysis of the three budget proposals next week.

House Education met for the first time on January 22, 2021. This meeting was introductions and process. On Monday, January 25th, their meeting will be a broad overview and learning session for new members about the basics of NM school funding, presented by LFC and LESC staff.

House Education members now include: Representatives… G. Andres Romero (Chair, Bernalillo); Joy Garratt (Vice Chair, Bernalillo); Alonzo Baldonado (Valencia); Jack Chatfield (7 counties in SE); Rebecca Dow (Grant, Hidalgo, & Sierra); Candy Ezzell (Chavez); Natalie Figueroa (Bernalillo); T. Ryan Lane (San Juan);  Raymundo Lara (Dona Ana); Derrick Lente (Rio Arriba, Sandoval & San Juan); Willie Madrid (Done Ana & Otero); Patricia Roybal Caballero (Bernalillo); Sheryl Williams Stapleton (Bernalillo); Candice Sweetser (Grant, Hidalgo & Luna) and Christine Trujillo (Bernalillo)

Senate Education members now include: Senators…William Soules (Chair, Dona Ana); Harold Pope, Jr (Vice Chair, Bernalillo), Steven Neville (San Juan); Craig Brandt (Sandoval, Majority Whip); Gay Kernan (Chavez, Lea, Eddy); Michael Padilla (Bernalillo); and Shannon Pinto (McKinley & San Juan)

The APS Government Affairs team holds office hours for APS people and legislators, Monday-Thursday from 1pm-2pm. Please feel free to ZOOM by with your questions or ideas. 

Thank you,
Heather Bassett, APS Government Affairs