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Mar 4, 2019

Legislative Update March 4, 2019, 6:54am - Stan Rounds


Legislative Update on HB2, HB5, and SB1 Plus a few other assorted bills...

Colleagues:

First let me thank Joe Guillen who, this year, is doing the weekly legislative review. I, on the other hand, am providing deeper review of the appropriation act and the reform legislation, (HB5 and SB 1). I wanted to let you know that the “die is cast” for both the appropriations act and the reform bills. Basically these bills are “in unison” (except for a few small differences) and are anticipated to pass both houses this week. The appropriations act is sitting in Senate Finance today and it is anticipated to move out by mid-week. HB5 and SB 1 are being aligned and should move forward also this week. The Senate and House have agreed to the major provisions as they relate to public schools. In short, the bills include: Increase in at risk factor to 0.250; a 6% across the board salary increase for all school employees, minimum salary guarantees for teachers and principals (that could inch up a little this week but stand at 41,50,60); minimum wage provision for $10 per hour for the FY 20 fiscal year; removal of small schools in large districts; increase in bilingual and multicultural (0.6 factor); increase of employer ERB contributions of 0.5%; institution of new rural population factor over 5 year period that would remove most charter schools; extended learning time (at 10 days; still working on equivalent hours language); K-5+ at 25 days; $56.5 million for instructional materials (included in SEG and not in Textbook Funds); substantial transportation funding increase with 6% language for drivers; PPE and TPE which is part of a total below the line funding of $63.1 million (PED is still negotiating possible increases to below the line); and the establishment of a State Support Reserve Fund balance of $25 million which should provide a larger unit value initially for SEG. I am attaching the HB 5 analysis which provides a fairly comprehensive review and the last part includes a table of district by district impacts.

As a side note, the HAFC approved legislation that provides the Impact Aid districts with capital outlay funding through STB’s that solves the issue of incursion into the SEG and relieves that potential collision.

Finally, there is a bill, HB265 that will require seatbelts and collision avoidance systems in school buses purchased after 2019. It increases the costs of the buses $12,500. It does provide for the inclusion of air conditioners in buses in warmer regions of the state. The Bill has passed the House and is likely to be in Senate Ed this week. I am opposing it (seatbelts and collision systems) due to  the cost increase and the lack of accidents of injury in the State over the last 25 years.

Best Regards:

Stan

Stan Rounds
Executive Director
NM Coalition of Educational Leaders/
NM School Superintendents Association
6600 Palomas Ave, NE
NMAA Building
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Phone: 505-217-2345
Cell: 575-915-7868

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