Good evening.

Retirement Bill in Senate Education, redux.  A number of ideas for education retirement fixes are making the rounds in Santa Fe as SB 150, Sen. Stuart Ingle's bill that features the ERB's recommendations, prepares to go before Senate Education again in the morning.  You'll recall that Monday's debate of the bill before SEC resulted in a host of suggested changes and ended with a promise that the committee will come back Wednesday, likely with amendments and then a vote.  A "do pass" will send the bill to Senate Finance where the scrutiny will be even more intense.

Rep. Mimi Stewart (D, Albuquerque) introduced two retirement bills yesterday (HB 269 and HB 270) that would raise employee contributions to the fund, one of a number of iterations of that notion floating around the Capitol.  From faculty to staff to yours truly, everyone trying to get a handle on retirement fixes agrees this a constantly moving target.  So we'll let you know what happens with SB 150 tomorrow.   No matter what proposed fix is presented, UNM would like to see the data that supports claims that it will achieve a solvency fix.

The Budget Bill

As of this moment this evening, HB 2 is still waiting to come up for a vote in House Appropriations and Finance.  Action on all legislation that carries a price tag here is poised and ready for that bill to clear committee because then people have a idea on where the money is being allocated and can work from there.

Lobos and the Big Red Dog

The University had a grand showing at the Roundhouse today for UNM Day at the State Capitol.  Thanks to the departments who with their exhibits showed the breadth. depth and wealth of UNM's academic programs and  to the staff who coordinated our showcase in the Halls of History.  It was also an impressive display by scores of our students who showed their UNM spirit and did us all proud.

A Senate Memorial, sponsored by Sen. Bill Payne (R, Albuquerque) and Sen. Michael Sanchez (D, Belen) honored President Schmidly for his service to UNM.  Joining the President on the rostrum in both the Senate and the House, and being recognized by legislators, were three of our faculty:  Prof. Ursula Shepherd of the Honors Program (also US Professor of the Year), Prof. Yemane Asmerom of Earth and Planetary Sciences and Prof. Manuel Montoya, Finance and International Management, Anderson School of Management.   Also on the Senate rostrum were representatives from El Centro de la Raza, a program much beloved in Santa Fe.

And then there was the Big Red Dog.  Clifford, of childrens' books and PBS fame, made the rounds for KNME and made it onto the floor of the House for a little tail waggling and good will hunting.  From personal experience, I now know that a number of difficult doors open in the Roundhouse if you're accompanying a big red dog.

Watch for the briefing that details tomorrow at the Capitol.
Until then, have a good evening.