Legislative roundup

Days remaining in session: 29

Skandera vote: Hanna Skandera has waited three years for the Senate to vote on her nomination as secretary of public education.

Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, the majority leader and perhaps the most powerful state legislator, said Tuesday that Skandera’s nomination will be decided in the next 30 days. “It’s time to vote,” he said, just before the legislative session began.

Skandera, 40, has been running the Public Education Department since January 2011. The Senate Rules Committee last year finally began Skandera’s confirmation hearing. But Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, who chairs the committee, then recessed the hearing after 10 hours of testimony across three days.

Sen. Clemente Sanchez, D-Grants, said he believed Skandera would be confirmed. “If it goes to a floor vote, she will win,” he said. “That’s my prediction.”

Employee paper sold: ‘Round the Roundhouse, the periodic newspaper focusing on politics from the perspective of New Mexico state employees, has been sold.

Gerard Iff, publisher of the paper, confirmed the sale Tuesday as he made the rounds on the opening day of the 2014 legislative session, hand-delivering copies of the latest issue at the Capitol, a tradition he has upheld for more than two decades.

At the end of the month, a couple from out of state will take over ‘Round the Roundhouse, Iff said. He had listed it for sale with a broker several months ago.

Looking ahead: The Legislative Committee on Compacts is scheduled to hear the Navajo Nation’s proposed amendments to the 2001 Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

• New Mexicans for Gun Safety is holding a rally outside the state Capitol at noon Wednesday in support of House Bill 44, which would require private sellers to conduct background checks before selling a weapon at a gun show. The purpose of the rally is to bring attention to gun-violence prevention and urge Gov. Susana Martinez to consider the proposed bill during the 30-day session, which is focused on budgetary matters.

• Inequality for All, a documentary film on income inequality and how the shrinking of the middle class has affected America’s economy and democracy, will be screened in Room 317 of the Capitol at 3 p.m. Wednesday, followed by a discussion via Skype with Robert Reich, who was secretary of labor in the Clinton administration. The event is hosted by Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque; the League of Women Voters of New Mexico; OLÉ New Mexico; the Service Employees International Union; the New Mexico Federation of Labor; New Mexico Voices for Children; and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees Local 480.

• From 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda, the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence plans an event featuring “male allies” from the Northern Pueblos: Keahi Souza, Roderick Kaskalla and Raymond Povijua, speaking about “What men and boys can do to end violence against women, the long-term effects of domestic violence on children, and the importance of community change and accountability,” a news release said.

• From noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Capitol Rotunda and East Halls of History, “Enchanted Circle Day” will feature music by Mariachi el Tigre from Taos High School, presentation of the colors by New Mexico Army National Guard 1115th Transportation Company from Ranchos de Taos and recognition of various Northern New Mexico legislators, mayors and pueblo governors.

Quote of the Day: “All that good stuff happened in just three years.” — Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela, D-Santa Fe, making a sardonic comment to a reporter on Gov. Susana Martinez’s State of the State address.

— The Santa Fe New Mexican

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