Gov. Susana Martinez had lunch with business leaders yesterday, taking the opportunity to sign HB 170, which makes changes to the Higher Education Endowment Act that allow an infusion of cash into the endowment fund once the budget is signed.

This was one of UNM’s priority pieces of legislation. Universities and colleges can compete within their sectors for funding to attract endowed chairs, professorships and research positions in fields like science and engineering, providing the institutions also raise private funds.

The state buget contains $5.5 million for the Higher Education Endowment. Martinez has until April 10 to ponder and act upon that most important bill.