Rep. Steinborn: Saturday Vote On Regents Bill

Legislators continue to increase their use of social media and e-mail.  Often, these techniques are used for fundraising.  But there is also an increased emphasis on notifying residents about upcoming legislation.  We saw an example of that this week that offers some insight into how legislators are connecting with constituents.

The full text is listed below:

From the office of State Rep. Jeff Steinborn:

Date: Fri, 1 Mar 2013 12:43:53 -0500 (EST)
Hi friends, I wanted to let everyone know that tomorrow morning at 8 AM, there will be a hearing and a vote on House Joint Resolution 8, establishing Regent Nominating Commissions.  It will take place at House Judiciary Committee in room 309.

Please take a moment to let the committee know how you feel about the need to reform our regent selection process, and how you feel about this common sense proposal to improve it.  Research has shown that many of the top performing universities in the country have regents qualifications and/or nominating commissions to recommend top candidates for a regent appointment.  New Mexico ranked 2nd to last in the country for our lack of qualifications of regents, and the arbitrary political basis with which most New Mexico University regents are selected.

House Judiciary Committee:
Chair Gail Chasey (R) - (505) 266-5191 -
Vice Chair Georgine Louis (D) - (505) 986-4464 -
Rep. Eliseo Alcon (D) (505) 986-4844
Rep. Zachary Cook (R) (505) 986-4452 -
Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R) (505) 986-4220 -
Rep. Miguel P. Garcia (D) (505)986-4327 -
Rep. Nate Gentry (R) (505) 986-4757 -
Rep. Emily Kane (D) (505) 986-4464 -
Rep. Moe Maestas (D) (505) 986-4774
Rep. Terry McMillan (R) (505) 986-4450
Rep. Paul Pacheco (R) (505) 986-4214 -
Rep. Bill Rehm (R) (505) 986-4214  -
Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D) - (505) 986-4243 -
Rep. Mimi Stewart (D) (505) 986-4842 -
Rep. Brian Egolf (D) (505) 986-4423 -

HJR 8 would:
* Allow voters to vote to establish Nominating Commissions for vetting and recommending appointments to the Board of Regents (constitutional amendment)

* If HJR 8 is passed by the Legislature and approved by voters in Nov. 2014 general election, the Legislature would then establish one or more Nominating Commissions, as well as the process for their appointment, and whom would serve on them.

* The Governor would then pick University Regents from the list of recommended candidates from the Nominating Commission

* This would apply to all New Mexico Universities (not Community Colleges) as well as NMMI, School for the Deaf, School for the Blind

* Establish a more inclusive system for recommending appointees to the Governor, for potential picks for our Regents
* A 2008 Michigan State Univ. study found that schools with more rigorous qualifications and/or nominating commissions had better performance.  New Mexico ranked 49 out of 50 for our current Regent appointment system.  Furthermore, the bottom five schools in the country including NM, all had no qualifications for Regents, and rather arbitrary political processes for appointment.
* Allows a broader set of potential Regent candidates to apply and be recommended for a Regent appointment, rather than just those that are politically connected to the sitting Governor.
* Increase the quality of our Regents and Universities, and in turn, help better serve the needs of our kids and our state.

Thank you,

State Rep. Jeff Steinborn
State Rep. Patricia Roybal Cabellero
State Sen. Bill Soules