Education secretary issue heads to Senate

Hanna Skandera - Public Education Department
From - ANTA FE (KRQE) – A plan to get rid of New Mexico’s education secretary is headed to the Senate floor after a panel approved it. Democrat Michael Padilla’s constitutional amendment would create an elected state board of education with an appointed superintendent to manage New Mexico’s education system.
     That’s how the system used to work until 2003 when voters chose the current system. Republicans claim Democrats are backing the idea because they don’t like Gov. Susana Martinez’s current education appointee Hanna Skandera.
     Padilla denies that. He says he wants to take politics out of education, give voters more input, and create more stability. “It allows for a state superintendent that’s appointed by a state board of education that represents the people to be in place for a month or 28 years. I mean, if they’re doing a good job, they’ll keep their job. If they’re not doing a good job, they’ll be out of there,” said Padilla, D-Albuquerque.
     Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, said, “When they had it before, besides one superintendent, they were switching every two to three years. So it’s not going to bring the continuity they claim is their purpose.”. More

NM student rank below national average in AP tests

New Mexico high school students ranked below the national average on Advanced Placement tests last year. But the scores have improved over the past decade, and New Mexico had the highest percentage of Hispanic and low income students who passed the tests. 

The 10th annual report from the College Board shows 43 percent of Hispanic students in New Mexico who took an AP test scored three points or more - the highest percent nationally. 

 At 53 percent, New Mexico also has the highest number of Hispanic high school students, and 46 percent of them took an AP test. Nearly 40 percent of low income students in New Mexico who took an AP test passed. 

Overall, 12 percent of New Mexico students passed, compared to a national average of 20 percent.

Information from The AP. 


AG's office says Gov. helicopter use was legal

Gov. Martinez
A senior official of the state Attorney General's Office says Gov. Susana Martinez didn't break the law when she flew on a State Police helicopter to avoid missing a commercial flight to attend political fundraisers in Texas in 2011.
However, General Counsel R. David Peterson also says it would be appropriate for Martinez to reimburse the state the $800 that the flight cost taxpayers. 
The Albuquerque Journal reports that Martinez says she doesn't plan to do that. Her campaign spokesman has said the helicopter flight was proper because Martinez stayed at a Board of Finance meeting that ran late.
The Attorney General's Office looked into the matter because of a complaint by a political advocacy group, ProgressNow New Mexico


Voluntary recall on Bueno green chile

Bueno Foods has announced a voluntary recall of its frozen non-ready-to-eat green chile. 

According to the company, the measure is being taken due to the possibilty of low levels of the listeria bacteria being present in the product.

 In a press release, Bueno Foods President Jackie Baca said, “Bueno is taking this action because we are committed to providing a safe food supply to our customers.  We pride ourselves as having some of the highest health and safety standards in the industry and are taking this action as a precaution.” 

The company states that no other products are being affected by the recall.

 For more information, call Bueno Foods at 505-243-2722, extention 127, or visit their website at 


Marijuana proposal likely dead this year

A proposal to let New Mexico voters decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana has stalled in committee and is likely dead for the year. 
The state Senate Rules Committee voted 5-5 on Tuesday against sending the constitutional amendment to another committee for consideration. 
The proposal would have made it legal for adults 21 and over to possess and use marijuana. 
The plan likely would have faced difficulty in the Legislature. And Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino, an Albuquerque Democrat who sponsored the measure, says he sees little chance of the issue being revived this session. But he says he will try again next year. Colorado and Washington state have legalized marijuana. 
Pot stores opened in Colorado last month, and sales should start in Washington later this year.
Information from The AP.