"Governor Richardson has led the way for ethics reform in New Mexico," said Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia.
Are you kidding me? A list of corruption this long, and the Governor is being positioned as the champion of ethics?
Clear thinking and straight talk from the top of a mountain.
"Governor Richardson has led the way for ethics reform in New Mexico," said Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia.
Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia said that despite Denish's interest in education, she declined repeated invitations to help develop the proposal.Now, I admit to being a bit curious as to whom is telling the truth here. And, as it was pointed out to me by one reader, this should be relatively easy to prove one way or the other. Maybe Richardson spokeswoman Alarie Ray-Garcia would like to send us a copy of the emails or memos that were sent to the Lt. Governor inviting her to help develop the proposal, or maybe a copy of one of the written responses where she "declined repeated inivtations."
"Her only involvement was to write a letter in support of the state's proposal, which she praised as being 'innovative,'" Ray-Garcia said.
"Now, for whatever reason, she has decided to attack the hard work of a lot of New Mexicans, including Secretary Garcia and her staff, who dedicated a lot of time and resources into this proposal. It was a strong proposal and Governor Richardson was proud to spend considerable time in Washington D.C. last week lobbying Secretary Duncan on its merits."
Denish spokesman James Hallinan said Denish was never invited to participate in the grant-writing process.
And while the state's chances probably weren't helped by a letter from Albuquerque Teachers Federation President Ellen Bernstein criticizing the state's application, that likely wasn't a determining factor.It may not have been a determining factor, but I do hope that when we have a second special session this year because revenue is less than projected, our state legislatures take note that the union went out of their way to keep money for education from coming into the state. Education cuts in the amount of $160 million should absolutely be on the table if a second special session is called.
We're going to have our New Mexico poll results out starting tomorrow- perhaps the most interesting thing we found is that Bill Richardson has become one of the least popular Governors in the country, with 63% of voters in the state disapproving of him to only 28% approving. He's even in negative territory among Democrats at a 42/47 spread.
Keep in mind, the Lt. Governor has been campaigning for this position for going on two years. So, I don't know that those numbers are anything to celebrate about - especially, considering Pete Domenici Jr. just got in the race a couple of weeks ago.
Where New Mexico departs from its regional counterparts is that it still looks favored to vote Democratic in its most significant statewide race this year. Lieutenant Governor Diane Denish leads her top Republican opponent, Pete Domenici Jr., by a 45-40 margin and has leads of 14-18 points over the rest of the GOP field.
Denish is by far the best known of the candidates running, with 41% of voters in the state holding a positive opinion of her to just 34% who see her negatively.
But with only hours remaining in the legislative session at the time of the Senate's 25-13 vote, House Bill 150 was sent back to the House, which needed to approve it before it could be forwarded to Gov. Bill Richardson.Just to refresh your memory on why this is a bizarre initiative, please go back and read my original pre-legislative session post on this purposeless political soundbite effort.
The bill's sponsor, Rep. Rick Miera, D-Albuquerque, was optimistic Wednesday night that the House would concur on the amendment by today's noon adjournment.
The legislation, which is supported by Richardson, would create a Hispanic education liaison position inside the state Public Education Department. It also would require an annual report card on Hispanic performance in New Mexico schools. And it would create a Hispanic education advisory council that would provide input to the education secretary.
New Mexico has always been fiscally responsible.
Unlike Washington, New Mexico cannot run a deficit, nor overspend.
We must have a balanced budget.
And we have balanced the budget every single year.
The State Investment Council got together this week to hear what outside consultants found in their review of the agency.
To no surprise, Gov. Bill Richardson, who chairs the council and controls it through his appointment of a majority of its members, didn't attend the council meeting.
As I first reported last February, Richardson has rarely attended the meetings of the State Investment Council, which invests billions of dollars in state endowment funds.
Now, the governor is using his absence in an apparent bid to distance himself from the scandal that has rocked the council over the past several months.
"The reality is I left decisions to my state investment board," Richardson told reporters Tuesday. "I hardly attended meetings. I felt that I shouldn't be part of decisions."
A records clerk at New Mexico State University is suing past and present state officials and a couple of controversial financial firms in a class-action suit to recapture money lost in questionable investments by the state Educational Retirement Board.
The suit, filed by Donna Hill of Las Cruces, seeks to win back money for 95,000 beneficiaries of the state educators' pension fund.
Hill, in an e-mail Tuesday, referred all questions to one of her lawyers, Jonathan Cuneo of Washington, D.C.
The tab for bad investments the state made with Chicago-based Vanderbilt Capital just got worse — to the tune of at least another $65 million.
The Legislative Finance Committee is now estimating the state lost $155 million in a series of highly leveraged mortgage investments with Vanderbilt, up from earlier estimates of $90 million.
On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee was told by a private attorney whose client is suing to reclaim the losses that the red ink on the investments could go as high as $200 million.
Legislators were not happy .
"We've got a budget crisis, an ethics crisis and an investment crisis," said Sen. Cisco McSorley, an Albuquerque Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. "I don't know if we can deal with all three in a 30-day session."
The concern was bipartisan.
An outside review of the State Investment Council, commissioned after a string of scandals, recommends significantly curtailing the governor's power over the SIC.
On the negative side, said Larry Waldman, senior research scientist at UNM's Business and Economic Research, “The local situation is terrible. Job growth is the lowest it has been since at least World War II. It's worse than most people thought it would be.” He said New Mexico's economy probably won't show signs of recovery until at least the second quarter of this year.Hmm, not exactly the time most rationale people would think to promote regressive taxes, but then again, it's not like this administration has ever really been concerned about the needs of everyday New Mexicans.
Governor Richardson believes government must be managed in a fiscally responsible manner, and that every government program must be held accountable to the taxpayers. Throughout his administration Governor Richardson has worked to make sure every tax dollar is spent wisely. He has required state agencies to find efficiencies, streamline existing processes, realign resources as policy priorities change, and collaborate to reduce duplication and bureaucracy.
During his first year in office, the Governor implemented a number of efficiency measures, including eliminating unnecessary contracts, maximizing federal and other revenue, shifting dollars to the classroom, executing strategic purchasing and implementing a statewide performance review that by FY07 resulted in more than $80 million in savings to the citizens of New Mexico. He also stepped up enforcement against tax fraud to collect more back-taxes owed.
New Mexico's jobless rate remained steady at 7.8 percent in November, the same as the previous month but much higher than the 4.6 percent rate in November 2008.
The national unemployment rate in November decreased to 10 percent.
The state's labor department, the Department of Workforce Solutions, says the state lost 25,400 jobs over the past year.
The department says the decline in the number of jobs is the worst New Mexico has seen in modern times and it will be a number of years until employment reaches pre-recession levels.
The gross receipts tax was first levied in 1934 (as the emergency school tax) as a temporary measure to keep the schools open; it was made permanent in 1935. The tax applied to almost all business sectors, including services. This contrasted markedly with other early-adopter states, like Mississippi, which taxed only sales of tangible goods. In 1966, the tax was reorganized and renamed as the gross receipts tax.
The table following the map shows that New Mexico’s average tax rate is the 28th highest out of the 46 states with a sales tax. However, New Mexico ranks fifth highest in terms of sales tax revenue as a percent of personal income, a result of both the relatively low level of personal income in New Mexico and the broad base of New Mexico’s gross receipts tax.
Days after a spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson told a TV reporter that it was “not appropriate or dignified” to identify the 59 political appointees who are losing their jobs, Richardson’s office has formally denied a newspaper reporter’s request for that information.
The Santa Fe New Mexican’s Kate Nash didn’t get much – including anything that identifies the people who are being laid off – in response to her request.
Reporters, who happen to be taxpayers as well, have historically taken the role of internal audit committee for our, the taxpayers, business. In other words, they've looked out for our interests. However, if we allow them to be shut out and denied information about who is or isn't working for us at a given time, then we stop having any sort of control over our government employees and officials. When this happens, those folks no longer work for us as public servants. Instead, we work for them in a manner very reminiscent of feudal fiefdoms in days of old.
I don't know about you, but the idea of becoming a serf is not particularly appealing to me.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 18 says Richardson's administration violated the law by refusing to bargain with the union over five unpaid furlough days Richardson ordered for 17,000 state workers in December, January, March, April and May.
"It's a fairly simple complaint," said Albuquerque attorney Shane Youtz, who is representing AFSCME and its 6,000 members. "We asked politely to bargain and were told no."
State Personnel Director Sandi Perez said the state fulfilled its legal duties by discussing the furloughs with union leaders in November.
The red ink lubricating the wheels of the Rail Runner is getting redder. Its operating deficit for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, topped $19 million. It collected a mere $1.9 million in fares against $21 million in operating expenses. The losses are greater than we reported in August. Based on information provided us by the Middle Rio Grande Council of Governments, we reported then that the Rail Runner’s operating loss through May 31, 2009, exceeded $13.4 million. But data for the entire fiscal year, ending June 30, 2009, reveal a number almost 42% higher.
Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, the Finance Committee chairman, said many lawmakers from rural parts of the state — both Democratic and Republican — remain wary of raising taxes during tough economic times, despite the state's budget deficit.
"There's no guarantee there's going to be revenue enhancements," Smith said Thursday. "I just don't see an overwhelming vote."
Lawmakers already have reduced general fund spending by about $700 million, from $6 billion to about $5.3 billion, because of steady declines in state tax revenues. Some legislators say there's room for more cuts in the state budget, which grew by 50 percent during Richardson's first six years in office.
Rick Homans, secretary of the state Taxation and Revenue Department, said Montoya's decision could have serious consequences.
"A massive rollback in property taxes, as suggested by the county assessor, raises several complex legal questions and has potentially serious fiscal implications that need to be studied more closely in the weeks ahead," he said.
Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday that he will work with state legislators to develop and pass a Hispanic Education Act in the 2010 session of the New Mexico Legislature.
Richardson asked summit participants — students, teachers, administrators, politicians and others — to come up with solutions before the legislative session. He said he wants the recommendations to help shape a new Hispanic Education Act, similar to New Mexico's Indian Education Act. That act created a special state division, which compiles an annual report on the progress of Native American students and encourages communication between tribes, among other things.
“Regardless of who emerges from the Republican primary, the lack of experience in their entire slate of Republican candidates should deeply concern New Mexicans,” Geise said. “Now is not the time for on-the-job training. We need a proven leader to help New Mexico families weather these tough times, and none of the Republicans running come close to meeting that challenge.”
Denish has said, in an attempt to distance herself from the scandal-plagued Richardson administration, “There is only one governor at a time.”
New Mexico lawmakers on Friday wrapped up their special legislative session, sending Gov. Bill Richardson a package of measures to repair a $650 million budget shortfall this year.
“It isn’t pretty. It doesn’t solve the problem; we know that. But it’s a step forward,” Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, said before the Legislature adjourned.
The package includes spending cuts of about $253 million this year in public schools, colleges and other government programs.
Richardson criticized what he said were “excessive” cuts to state agencies, and warned they could result in layoffs and reduced services.
Richardson has proposed a 3.5 percent cut to state agencies and a 1.5 percent cut to public schools, which would amount to about a $40 million reduction in the state budget for kindergarten through 12th grade.
The money involved in the transfer to the discretionary account came from funds meant for technology and transportation, Balderas said. About $3,500 of it came from federal Head Start money, in violation of the federal rules, the audit states.
Among the items allegedly purchased by the northern New Mexico school district through the discretionary account were:
The audit said that depositing money into the discretionary account resulted in less money available for school district operations. Auditors looked into transactions from the discretionary account from fiscal years 2006 to present.
- More than $2,800 in lobbying expenses.
- $200 spent on 20 bags of beef jerky for lobbying at the Legislature last March.
- $742 spent on food at the Bull Ring in Santa Fe for a legislative meeting last February.
- More than $900 spent on flowers for funerals and other events.
- Jackets for all district staff for staff appreciation in January 2007 costing $3,299. More jackets for staff and also for legislators in March 2007, costing $290.
- Gift certificates from Wal-Mart for three retiring employees in May 2006 costing a total of $150.
- A $302 gift from Zales Outlet for the district's retiring superintendent in August 2006.
- Another $1,200 for items for conference rooms from a vendor called "Nambe" in August 2008.
- For district staff: more than $1,300 for hams in December 2007, more than $1,600 for turkeys in February 2009 and more than $900 for denim shirts in April 2009.
- And more than $2,400 spent on jackets for district leadership in March 2009.
We know temporary “band aids” applied to remedy our budget shortfalls are not the answer to long-term, structural problems with the state budget. We must craft solutions that work for future generations of New Mexicans.
Rep. Cote introduced HB24 on the floor of the House today. The proposed bill calls for the Governor to reduce the number of exempt employees in cabinet departments and state agencies with salaries over $50,000. According to the bill, cutting at least 180 of these positions would save $8.1 million for the rest of this year and $19 million in the next fiscal year.
“Under the current fiscal conditions, all state expenditures must be analyzed and none excluded. I’ve noticed significant growth in the number of exempt positions in the last several years and the incumbents of which could be placed into permanent classified positions. My bill is an attempt to reduce the size of the state’s payroll. I feel the state government has grown too large for the revenue available in the state of New Mexico,” Rep. Cote (D-Dona Ana, Otero-53) stated.
During the last regular session the Governor said he would trim salaries of 470 exempt employees but, in the past year alone, the number of Governor exempt employees has risen by 27 positions from 789 to 816, while the number of state classified employees has stayed the same. Over the past seven years the Governor’s exempt positions has risen by 281 positions.
Legislators should act quickly, she said–putting “personal animosity aside”–because the state doesn’t have “time or money to waste”
But most interesting was $38,353 paid for "research/polling" to a company called Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin & Associates in Santa Monica, Calif. Nearly all the money was paid in June, a much smaller chunk paid in September.
Gov. Bill Richardson late Tuesday rejected legislative proposals to plug a state budget gap that's now expected to top $650 million, saying at least two of them would cut too much money for public schools.
Richardson called for lawmakers to try again before a special legislative session on the budget starts Saturday.
"Governor Richardson has studied the legislative proposals and finds the cuts to education unacceptable because of the severe impact to teachers and kids," Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos said. "The governor wants one proposal from the Legislature, not three, that makes fiscally responsible cuts without hurting schools."
A new batch of testing results shows New Mexico students' math scores are among the nation's worst, with little change from previous years.
The data, released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress and often called the Nation's Report Card, shows New Mexico's fourth-graders with an average math score of 230 out of 500. The national average was 239.
The New Mexico average score for eighth-graders was 270, compared to a national average of 282.
The achievement gap between New Mexico's Anglo students and students of other ethnicities remained wide, without significant change from 2007.
Secretary of Education Veronica Garcia said the overall numbers may not provide a fair comparison because of the small sample of students tested. About 11 percent of New Mexico's fourth-graders and 10 percent of eighth-graders took the test.
Garcia also said students and teachers in New Mexico often do not take the test very seriously because scores are not broken down by district or school. She said other states use incentives to raise awareness about the test's importance.
Gov. Bill Richardson might have a new nickname for two of his frequent adversaries in the New Mexico Legislature.
Speaking to reporters Monday after a news conference in Santa Fe, Richardson voiced frustration with Senate President Pro Tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell, and Senate Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith, D-Deming.
"I don't want this gloom and doom that is coming from certain quarters," Richardson said.
When a private spaceship soared over California to claim a $10 million prize, daredevil venture capitalist Alan Walton was 68 and thought he'd soon be on a rocket ride of his own.
Walton plunked down $200,000 to be among the first space tourists to make a suborbital thrill-ride high above the Earth aboard aspaceship.
Now he intends to ask for his deposit back if there's no fixed launch date by his 74th birthday next April.
When Virgin officials and the state of New Mexico came together to announce a partnership to turn the commercial space industry into a reality, they estimated commercial flights beginning in 2007 in California and moving to Spaceport America as soon as the New Mexico facility was ready in 2008.
New Mexico has extended call-center hours, upgraded the phone system and added 15 workers. Even so, "We still are receiving reports of people's inability to get through," said Carrie Moritomo, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Workforce Solutions.
Five years ago, just eight of Gov. Bill Richardson's political appointees made more than $100,000 a year. Today, more than 100 earn at least that much.
Legislators expect the current revenue shortfall to grow - perhaps to $550 million or more - because of continued weakening of tax collections during the recession.
To prepare for that possibility, lawmakers are pushing for larger spending cuts than Richardson has proposed in his plan to balance the budget.
"We're in deep, deep, deep trouble, and there absolutely is not going to be an easy answer," Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Deming Democrat and vice chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee, told his colleagues Monday as they reviewed options for balancing the budget.
Lawmakers see spending cuts as a permanent fix to the state's budget woes. Reducing the budgets of agencies and programs realigns state expenditures more closely with projected revenues in coming years.
Today State Auditor Hector Balderas released a report saying nearly 90 state agencies have failed to submit compliance audits as required by law. The total amount of dollars that hasn't been audited according to a list I received is $1,177,233,118.00.
What's been largely missing from this discussion is not what is legal, but what is ethical. Legally, the perpetrators of the accident may not have been required to remain at the scene of the accident, but ethically, they should have remained.
The state's boating law says the operator of a vessel has 48 hours to provide information about an accident, and Condit complied with that, according to Jodi McGinnis Porter, spokeswoman for the energy and minerals agency.
Porter said Fay, the boat's owner, stayed at the scene and provided information to investigators, while Richardson, Condit, Miller and the state police officers left. They were not required to remain there, she said.
Of course, President Obama's dishonesty on this topic is not limited to the question of whether or not illegal immigrants will benefit from the healthcare changes being proposed. There were numerous inaccuracies his speech. For example, take this:
A GAO report finds that illegal immigrants constitute more than one-third of all Medicaid-funded pregnancies in California. Elsewhere in the country, the GAO found: "From 1992 to 1995 in Texas, the number of Medicaid-funded births to undocumented alien mothers more than doubled, while the total number of births remained fairly stable." People respond to economic incentives. Even when the people and the incentives are illegal.
Missouri attorney general Chris Koster has estimated that one in ten Medicaid claims is fraudulent. How much of that fraud diverts money to illegal immigrants? Nobody knows for sure and don't ask the state bureaucrats for help in finding out: When the federal government passed new rules demanding better documentation of legal residency for Medicaid recipients, the states resisted. In California, officials representing the state's Medicaid program, Medi-Cal, wanted to use such lamentably inadequate documentation as insurance records and school report cards in place of passports and birth certificates. We are entitled to question their motives, and their prudence.
So, Representative Wilson could use a visit from Miss Manners. But he is telling the truth, and President Obama is not.
OBAMA: "Nothing in this plan will require you or your employer to change the coverage or the doctor you have."
THE FACTS: That's correct, as far as it goes. But neither can the plan guarantee that people can keep their current coverage. Employers sponsor coverage for most families, and they'd be free to change their health plans in ways that workers may not like, or drop insurance altogether. The Congressional Budget Office analyzed thewritten by House Democrats and said that by 2016 some 3 million people who now have employer-based care would lose it because their employers would decide to stop offering it.
In the past Obama repeatedly said, "If you like your health care plan, you'll be able to keep your health care plan, period." Now he's stopping short of that unconditional guarantee by saying nothing in the plan "requires" any change.
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now does not apply for nor does it receive any federal grants.
ACORN has had contracts with other nonprofit organizations to perform work on projects which received federal grant support.
Two staff members of the Baltimore office of ACORN were fired Thursday after they were captured on hidden camera appearing to give advice on evading tax laws to a man and woman posing as a pimp and a prostitute.If you haven't seen the videos, I strongly urge you to watch them. It's like watching an SNL skit from when SNL was actually funny.
The video depicts a man and a scantily dressed female partner visiting the Charles Village office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, where they appear to ask two employees about how to shield their work from state and federal tax requirements. The supposed pimp also appears to ask the employees how to conceal underage girls from El Salvador brought into the country illegally to work for him.
"If they don't have Social Security numbers, you don't have to worry about them," the employee says.
Oh, and it looks like the newly elected Democratic Party Chairman, Brian Colon, is already going to have his hands full trying to keep some folks from getting back into office:That about sums up the problem with New Mexico politics. Now, I'm sure that the timing of the Governor's meeting with the North Koreans was just a fortunate coincidence.Former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron wants to be lieutenant governor.Rebecca Vigil-Giron back in office. It's like a dream come true for Republicans. Remember, this is the lady whose fiscal mismanagement of the Secretary of State's office was so severe that it resulted in a Richardson job offer
You might be thinking that she’s looking to get on a ticket in 2010. Vigil-Giron, however, is thinking about next year.
She told me that during the Democrats’ convention in
today. Las Cruces being revokedput on hold:Of course, you've got to love the Governor's logic in that last paragraph, "[Vigil-Giron] contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe she deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
Richardson said he wasn't aware the shortfall was that big.
"I was not aware of the size of the deficit," he said. "I was aware there was some expenses that hadn't been paid but when I learned that was $3 million, I think it's important we get all the facts and we make sure a proper audit is done."
The governor's announcement [regarding Rebecca Vigil-Giron's appointment being put on hold] followed Sen. Shannon Robinson, an Albuquerque Democrat, yanking his sponsorship of an administration bill this week that would create the Media Arts and Entertainment Department, of which the film museum would be a part. Robinson was the only Senate sponsor.
House Republicans tried but failed to stop a similar bill in that chamber.
Even with his call for an audit, the governor defended Vigil-Giron.
He said she "has served the state, she's been an elected official, she's contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe she deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
Hmm, I wonder... let's try that a few different ways..."Manny Aragon contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
"Robert Vigil contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
Michael Montoya contributed to state government in New Mexico and I believe he deserves an opportunity to stay in state government."
Schools repeatedly failing to meet adequate yearly progress could face sanctions, including restructuring. Results released Monday are preliminary and school districts have several weeks to appeal their designations.
The results show that for the 2008-09 school year:Now in all fairness, when it comes to numbers, there are many different ways to look at them (e.g. investment houses which report record earnings in a declining economy after taking taxpayer dollars to avoid failure and the "paying it back", but I digress.). Another part of this annual tradition involves educator Scot Key's post after post after post after post analysis of the numbers. Expect more posts Scot - someone for whom I sincerely have the utmost respect even if he is to the left of the left - on the topic.
- 69.3 percent of New Mexico's schools were labeled as failing to meet AYP, up from 67.7 percent the previous year.
- 124 out of 147 middle schools failed to make AYP, meaning a failure rate of 84.4 percent.
- Of the state's 157 high schools, 129, or 82.2 percent, failed to make AYP.
- The results are based on standardized tests taken by about 162,000 students in third through eighth grades and in 11th grade.
- Schools are judged in 37 categories, including whether English language learners, students with disabilities and different ethnic groups are meeting standards. If a school misses even one of the 37 standards, it is labeled as failing to meet AYP.
Roughly half the students who should have graduated with the class of 2008 failed to do so, prompting a call to action by the state's education secretary.Of course, we can all take comfort in the fact that the recipient of this year's America's Greatest Education Governor Award has a plan:
"It is alarming," Education Secretary Veronica Garcia said during a news conference Monday at which the state unveiled its four-year graduation rate, along with results of the latest round of tests required under the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
New Mexico's cohort graduation rate for the class of 2008 is 54 percent compared to the national average of 70 percent, according to the Public Education Department.
The cohort rate tracked individual students from the ninth grade through the summer after their senior year in 2008 to show how many graduated.
For Albuquerque Public Schools, the state's largest school district, the 2008 graduation rate was 46.2 percent, according to the state report.
Gov. Bill Richardson, who has made education reform a priority during his 6 1/2 years in office, plans to unveil another batch of reforms as early as this week.Hmm, let's see if we can follow the logic here. The Governor has made education reform a priority for 6 1/2 years, and each year we fail to make any progress. Heck, we actually lose ground year after year. I don't know about you, but as the parent of school age children, I don't think I have the stomach for any more of Governor Richardson's style reforms.
"We will push very hard so that the main legislative agenda item in January and in my remainder of the term will be education, to finish what I believe is a good start and good progress," Richardson told the Journal last week. "We recognize that we still have a ways to go."