After struggling mightily to get out of the House Education Committee over a long couple of weeks, the Higher Education Endowment bill, HB 170, has gathered steam and is moving rapidly. This morning, the Senate Education Committee gave it unanimous approval, sending it on its way to the senate floor. The bill makes changes to the Endowment Act and its passage is needed to access the $5.5 million sitting in HB 2, which is sitting in the senate.

The House Education Committee meanwhile gave approval to SB 255, which allows UNM-Valencia to build an off-campus facility on donated land west of I-25. The structure will house classes and services for the rapidly growing west side of Los Lunas. That bill now goes to the Ways and Means Committee.

The House Education Committee also approved a bill designed to protect proprietary college information, intellectual property and trade secrets, which may be subjected to public records requests. The bill, HB 575, now goes to House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs. In addition, the education committee approved a memorial establishing a task force to study the impacts of public record requests to colleges and universities, making recommendations to streamline the process and protect personal information.