NM Legislative Session


March 13, 2015




Mary Lou Cameron, Associate Superintendent SS/CR

With Permission of Dr. Dan Lere, Superintendent

To contact legislators in your district, please see the legislative contact list Link

HB 144, House Education Committee Substitute for House Bill 144, Teacher and School Leader Effectiveness Act, passed the House on March 9 and is now waiting for action in the Senate Education Committee. Substitute language was approved that removed even more local control from the measure. The original bill allowed superintendents to make the final recommendation regarding competency for licensure renewal. The substitute language gives that power back to the Public Education Department with superintendents having the ability to appeal licensure denials. It still requires that 40% of a teacher's evaluation be based on student standardized test scores.

House Bill 2, the General Appropriations Act, i
s still in the Senate Finance Committee.Democrats in the House tried unsuccessfully to amend the budget and increase funding for public schools and deny funding for the Governor’s merit pay plan. House Bill 2, has a (.9%) increase in the public school funding formula funds. The only increases from last year are to pay for fixed costs, a new base salary for level one teachers of $34,000, and a continuation of last year’s merit pay pilot at $9 million to be determined by the Public Education Department based on applications by districts. Senator Howie Morales, member of the Senate Finance Committee, has introduced an amendment to increase funding to public schools along the lines recommended by House Democrats and move the money into the funding formula to provide at least an .9 percent salary increase statewide to all educational employees. 

HB 76
-Teacher Licensure Levels & Advancement is waiting for its first hearing in the Senate Ed Committee on March 16 and sponsored by Dennis Roch, was amended  while being debated on the House Floor,  to include a Fair Pay for Teachers Amendment to ensure that teachers in the levels one, two and three categories receive increases of  $10,000.     Then in a surprise move by Rep. Alonzo  Baldonado of Sandoval County,  a substitution to the bill was introduced requiring an objective performance evaluation rating of exemplary or highly effective for two consecutive years  for a Level 1 teacher  to receive $34,000 ,  for a Level 2 teacher to receive  $44,000, and for a Level 3 to receive $54,000.    If not exemplary or highly effective rating at these levels, then the teacher would receive 30,000,  40,000  or 50,000 respectfully.   A Level 3-B (administrative license) administrator would receive a minimum annual salary based on the amounts provided in the teacher levels plus an applicable responsibility factors of exemplary or highly effective.     The bill  passed by a vote of 37-0.  27 members were absent.     No votes were recorded against.    

SB 129, School District Liens on Some School Buses,would require school district liens on contractor-owned school buses under contract to the school district. If the district does not place a lien on contractor-owned school buses, and the contract terminates with the contractor, the district will be responsible for reimbursing the state for those liens buses. This bill is in the House Transportation and Public Works Committee scheduled to be heard on March 17. 

House Bill 41, Retention of Third Graders, passed the House  38-30 and is waiting its journey through Senate Committees. At this time it is waiting a hearing in the Senate Public Affairs Committee A number of research studies show that students retained have a higher probability of  dropping  out of school between eighth and twelfth grade.  It is still waiting scheduling in the Senate Education Committee.   Please contact your senators (See attachment:  Legislative Contacts 2015)  with your thoughts on this bill. HB 41 limits grade promotions by providing that a student who is not proficient in reading at the end of kindergarten or first or second grade may be retained and shall be provided with intensive remediation limiting grade promotions by providing that a student who is not proficient in reading at the end of kindergarten or first or second grade may be retained and shall be provided with intensive remediation; providing  that a student who is not proficient in reading at the end of third grade shall be retained and provided with intensive remediation; providing that a student who is academically proficient at the end of grades four through eight shall not be retained but shall be provided with intensive remediation; providing for assessment, intervention and remediation programs to address deficiencies identified between kindergarten and the eighth grade; providing exceptions.


HB 164, an act relating to education, would change the dates for reporting school transportation information to the PED as well as changing the basis for determining transportation distribution allocations.   The allocations would be calculated and distributed for the entire school year using an average of the amounts reported on the second reporting date and third reporting date of the prior school year.  This bill has passed the House and is waiting for a hearing in the Senate Education Committee scheduled for March 14, 2015.


SB 126-LEVEL 3-B School Admin Licensure sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart is still on the Senate Calendar after passing the Senate Education Committee and amended in the Senate Public Affairs Committee on Tuesday.  It would define requirements for a  obtaining a level three B license  and set the minimum annual salary for a level three-B school or assistant principal at $50,000.


House Bill 181, the House version of the  adjunct instructors act,  is  waiting for a hearing in the Senate Ed Committee after passing on the House Floor.  Creating the adjunct instructors act would  allow the certification and contracting of adjunct instructors. It also provides   for background checks for adjunct instructors.  It does not subject the adjunct instructors to the state personnel act. 


Senate Bill 228, the Senate’s version of the adjunct instructors act,  is still in the Senate Judiciary Committee.  It  creates the adjunct instructors act allowing the certification and contracting of adjunct instructors.   Adjunct instructors cannot teach more than one half time.  A local school board may enter into a contract for services with an adjunct instructor.  The amount of compensation to be received by the adjunct instructor shall be a provision of the contract for services determined by the local school board.  The adjunct instructor shall provide services not to exceed one-half of a full-time teacher's workload. The contract for services shall specify that the adjunct instructor is ineligible for: (1) health plan benefits; (2) the accrual of service credit or employee or employer contributions under any coverage plan pursuant to the Public Employees Retirement Act, the Educational Retirement Act or the Deferred Compensation Act; (3) any compensation other than the amount specified in the contract for services; and (4) tenure under any law or rule or tenure .


House Bill  75, the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) substitute for HB 75, has been assigned to the Senate Public Affairs Committee.  It  would create the Employee Preference Act, declaring it a misdemeanor offense to require membership in a labor organization, or to require a labor organization’s recommendation or approval for hiring, promotion or continued employment. The bill gives the district attorney and the attorney general the right to investigate and enforce Right-to-work laws are state laws that prohibit both the closed and union shop. A right to work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union.  The bill includes a minimum wage of $8.00 an hour with a trainee employer a rate no less than $7.50 an hour for a period of not more than 6 months.


House Bill 76,  Teacher Licensure Level and Advancement, would change the length of licensure for those meeting certain criteria  in levels 1, 2 and 3 from nine  to five years and establish a minimum salary of $34,000 in 2015-16 for level 1 and increasing to $40,000 by 2018-19,  %45,000  in 2015-16 for level 2 increasing to $50,000 by 2018-19, and $54,000 for level 3 increasing to $60,000 by 2018-19. 

 The last day for legislators to introduce legislation was  Thursday, February 19.  The last day of the 2015 NM Legislature is March 21.  

Please contact your legislators serving in the House and/or or Senate if you have a position on any of the  bills.   Complete contact information is linked for our representatives in Luna, Grant, and Dona Ana counties.  

(The Legislative Update is provided as a service to employees of DPS with the permission of Dr. Dan Lere, Superintendent.  The author of the 2015 Legislative Update derives her information from various avenues, but relies on the NM Legislative Website as the main source. She takes the reporting of the session and its actions very seriously, as she works to be impartial in reporting of the progress of the bills and actions of the legislators.)


2015 Session Facts:
Dates related to the 2015 sixty day legislative session:
January 16 Last Day Legislation May be Prefiled
January 20
Opening day (noon)
February 19
Deadline for introduction of bills
March 21
Session ends (noon)
April 10
Legislation passed by both Houses and not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed
June 19
Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date.

The New Mexico State Legislature convenes in regular sessions on the third Tuesday in January each year. The Legislature meets for 60 days in odd-numbered years and 30 days in even-numbered years.

The Legislature is composed of a 70-member House of Representatives and a 42-member Senate. The members are unpaid for their legislative work, but do receive a daily living allowance for each day of official legislative work. Legislators are elected from districts of approximately equal population. Several counties with small populations may be combined to form a single district.