By John Sena: The Santa Fe New Mexican
A sign on the window of Sen. John Arthur Smith’s office on Friday might dash the hopes of people wanting a state university to acquire the College of Santa Fe campus.
“Senate Finance Committee Will Not Meet For Remainder of The Legislative Session,” the sign says.
Supporters of House Bill 577, which would authorize a state school to acquire the campus, was stuck in the committee, but supporters were hoping that senators would eventually come around.
Now the bill’s only chance is for the Senate to vote to pull it out of committee for a hearing on the Senate floor. To do that would require a two-thirds vote from senators.
And a budget bill headed to Gov. Bill Richardson for signing does not include funding for the college after the Senate voted to remove it.
The latest news comes only minutes after Santa Fe Mayor David Coss and CSF supporters staged a rally outside the Roundhouse, asking Senate Finance to hear the HB 577.
“The College of Santa Fe is such a critical, critical component of Santa Fe,” Coss told the crowd of about 200 people.
He expressed dismay that after passing the House and being approved by one Senate committee, the bill had not even received a hearing in Senate Finance.
“I say that’s not democracy in New Mexico,” he said. “Vote it up or down, but we deserve for it to be heard.”