Early Childhood Legislation | The Line

Early Childhood Legislation | The Line

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>>WELCOME TO THE LINE. THIS YEAR’S LEGISLATIVE
SESSION IS FOCUSED ON EDUCATION AND THIS WEEK THE
SENATE APPROVED A PLAN TO CREATE A NEW EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATION AND CARE DEPARTMENT, SOMETHING THE GOVERNOR
SUPPORTS BUT SHE ALSO TOOK THE RARE STEP OF APPEALING IN
PERSON FOR MONEY TO PAY FOR PROGRAMS FOR THE LAND GRANT
PERMANENT FUND. WE ARE GOING TO TALK ABOUT
THAT AND SOME OTHER EDUCATION THINGS. I AM JOINED AT THE TABLE BY
DANIEL FOLEY, FORMER STATE REPRESENTATIVE AND MINORITY
WHIP. DIANE SNYDER HERE, A FORMER
TWO-TERM SENATOR. CAROLYN CARLSON IS WITH US, A
REPORTER FOR THE WEEKLY ALIBI AND ERIC GRIEGO JOINS US, ALSO
A FORMER SENATOR IN NEW MEXICO ROUNDHOUSE.>>ERIC, STICK WITH YOU ON
THIS ONE. TWO SENATORS OPPOSED THE EARLY
CHILDHOOD BILL INTERESTINGLY. REPUBLICAN WOODS AND DEMOCRAT
STEWART. DID THAT SURPRISE YOU THAT
THOSE FOLKS WERE OPPOSED TO THIS? WHAT IS THE BACK STORY THERE?>>WELL, YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU
COMBINE THE FUNCTIONS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD SOME TAKE
PLACE IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, SOME OF IT IS PRIVATE AND ONE OF
THE INTENTIONS IS HOW TO FUND, WHO IS GOING TO ADMINISTER IT,
ARE WE GOING TO FORCE PEOPLE TO BE IN PUBLIC PLACES. SOME OF IT THERE IS UNDERLYING
FEAR GIVEN SOME OF THE CHALLENGES WITH THE K-12
SYSTEM, YOU GLOM ON THE EARLY CHILDHOOD SYSTEM, IS THAT SORT
OF A MONEY GRAB? BUT I WILL SAY IT SORT OF
CALLED THE BLUFF. I REALLY APPRECIATE SENATOR
PADILLA WHO HAD SPONSORED THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO
PUT 1% MORE MONEY IN. HE KIND OF CALLED THEIR BLUFF
BECAUSE THE STRAWMAN HAS BEEN, YOU WANT ALL THIS MONEY BUT
YOU HAVE NO PLAN. OKAY. LET’S DO IT LIKE WASHINGTON
AND A LOT OF OTHER STATES. LET’S CREATE A DEPARTMENT THAT
IS GOING TO STAFF UP, HAVE A CABINET LEVEL PERSON TAKE THIS
ISSUE SERIOUSLY AND BE READY FOR THIS INFUSION OF MONEY. AND FOLKS SAID, GREAT IDEA
EXCEPT WE STILL DON’T WANT TO GIVE YOU THE MONEY, THE
NUMBERS THAT I HAVE SEEN ARE BETWEEN 400 MILLION AND SOME
FOLKS A BILLION, AND UNDERFUNDING FOR THE 140,000
KIDS ZERO TO 5 WHO FRANKLY DON’T HAVE THE ACCESS, DON’T
HAVE THE QUALITY THAT WE SHOULD BE PROVIDING. SO, WE HAVE A DEPARTMENT NOW,
PROBLEM IS ARE WE GOING TO GET MONEY IN SO THEY CAN CHANGE
THE COURSE?>>PICK UP THE IDEA OF A NEW
DEPARTMENT. FOR A LOT OF FOLKS WHO
ADVOCATE FOR SMALLER GOVERNMENT, THIS IS A
NIGHTMARE. IS IT APPROPRIATE IN THIS
SITUATION?>>I THINK THERE IS A LOT OF
SUPPORT FOR THIS BILL PARTICULARLY AS AMENDED. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT YOU
DIDN’T SPEAK OF IS THEY AMENDED IT IN SENATE PUBLIC
AFFAIRS TO READ CUT THE MONEY IN HALF. I AM NOT SURE EXACTLY IF THERE
IS GOING TO BE ENOUGH MONEY. THE SECOND THING, THE ORIGINAL
BILL COVERED CHILDREN FROM BIRTH TO FIFTH, FIVE YEARS
OLD, NOT FIFTH GRADE, FIVE YEARS OLD.
AND RIGHT NOW, FOUR YEAR OLDS ARE UNDER THE PUBLIC EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT. I KNOW THAT SENATOR STEWART
THIS WAS ONE OF HER THINGS IS SHE WANT WANTED IT TO STAY IN
AND JUST GO BIRTH THROUGH THREE YEARS OLD.>>SHE WAS STRONG ON THAT.>>VERY STRONG ON THAT AND I
DIDN’T TALK TO HER BUT I SUSPECT THAT MAY HAVE BEEN THE
REASON FOR HER VOTE AGAINST THE BILL.>>I SEE.>>BECAUSE THAT AMENDMENT
PASSED IN SENATE EDUCATION SO SHE VOTED AGAINST IT THERE,
SO, SHE MAY HAVE SAID, I CAN’T VOTE FOR THIS, AS LONG AS THIS
IS IN THERE. SO, I AM JUST SPECULATING AT
THIS POINT. BUT I THINK THERE IS SOME
CONCERN ABOUT ONE MORE CABINET POSITION. ARE WE GOING TO FUND IT AND
YOU HAVE TO GET A SECRETARY AND DEPUTIES AND THIS, THAT
AND THE OTHER. THEN, THE ORGANIZATION OF IT
IS, HOW DO YOU TAKE OUT ALL OF THESE PIECES AND PUT IT
INTO — BECAUSE YOU’RE TAKING FROM PUBLIC EDUCATION. YOU’RE TAKING FROM HEALTH,
FROM WHEREVER MEDICAID IS, WHEN YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT —
SO IT IS NOT AN EASY THING TO DO. THANK SENATOR PADILLA HAS DONE
ALL THE WORK AND I AM NOT SURE EVERYBODY IS CONVINCED THIS
MIGHT NOT BE THE RIGHT WAY TO GO AT THIS POINT. BUT, WITH THAT SAID, THERE HAS
STILL BEEN OVERWHELMING SUPPORT FROM THE
CONSERVATIVES.>>INTERESTING.>>ISN’T THAT? YEAH. I THINK EVERYBODY IS IN
AGREEMENT THAT WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING.>>HOW IS THE QUESTION. SORRY ABOUT THAT. AND THE IDEA AND I AM STICKING
ON THE THING OF A NEW CABINET POSITION. WE HAVE TO HAVE ADVICE AND
CONSENT AND ALL THOSE MACHINATIONS TO GET THERE. THERE IS A CERTAIN LOGIC TO
IT, THOUGH, ISN’T THERE? IF WE GET KIDS SQUARED AWAY
HERE, WHY NOT PUT IT ALL UNDER ONE ROOF. WE HAVE EXPERTS, RESEARCH ALL
THE THINGS THAT GOES WITH A CABINET POSITION. WOULD THE PUBLIC AGREE WITH
THAT. THAT IS THE INTERESTING PART
OF IT, TOO.>>THE PUBLIC CAN ALSO SEE IT
AS MORE BUREAUCRATIC BS, RIGHT? YOU KNOW, IF YOU’RE A MOM YOU
HAVE THREE KIDS AND THEY ARE OF THIS AGE GROUP, WHAT DOES
IT MEAN TO THEM, RIGHT? NOW IT IS A BUNCH OF JIBBER
JABBER TO THE PERSON ON THE STREET. IT IS. BUT, AT LEAST THE CONVERSATION
IS STARTING AND WE DO HAVE A PROBLEM WITH OUR EDUCATION
SYSTEM. I MEAN, WE HAVE THE SINGLETON
RULE THAT JUST CAME OUT, WE HAVE — WE ARE BOTTOM OF THE
BARREL, SO, I MEAN I THINK IF WE CAN KEEP A LOT OF
BUREAUCRACY OUT OF IT AND FOCUS ON THE KIDS —
>>ISN’T THAT THE OPPORTUNITY WITH A BRAND NEW DEPARTMENT? THIS WILL 23RD CABINET
SECRETARY. A 23RD. THAT IS, YOU KNOW, I ASK THE
SAME QUESTION. IS IT APPROPRIATE OR NOT
APPROPRIATE TO DO THIS?>>ABSOLUTELY ASININE TO DO
THAT. WE HAVE A DEPARTMENT OF
EDUCATION. THAT IS WHERE ALL THE STUFF
GOOD, RIGHT, WRONG OR DIFFERENT HAS BEEN. IF YOU’RE GOING TO DO THIS, IT
IS AN EDUCATION PROCESS. WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO CREATE
NOW, IS ANOTHER THIEVEDOM. YOU’RE GOING TO HAVE PEOPLE
FIGHTING OVER THE LAND GRAB. YOU’RE GOING TO WIND UP WITH
WHAT WE HAVE DONE HISTORICALLY IN NEW MEXICO IS CREATE A NEW
BUREAUCRACY AND SOMEHOW 50 OR 60% OF THE FUNDING NEVER MAKES
IT OUT TO WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO. THE ANSWER SHOULDN’T BE LET’S
CREATE A NEW DEPARTMENT. THE ANSWER SHOULD BE LET’S GET
THE RIGHT PEOPLE IN PLACE WITHIN THE DEPARTMENT THAT HAS
BEEN WORKING WITH KIDS, WORKING WITH INDIVIDUALS
AND –>>IS THERE NOT A FRESH START?>>NO. THERE IS ALWAYS A FRESH START,
JUST LIKE THERE WOULD BE A FRESH START HERE IF WE BUILT A
BRAND NEW BUILDING AND MOVED EVERYBODY OVER THERE. THERE IS A COST TO THAT. RIGHT NOW IF THERE IS TRULY A
NEED TO GET SERVICES TO KIDS AND FAMILIES, THE LAST THING
YOU WANT TO DO IS TAKE THE BILL, SLICE OFF 50% AND SAY,
WE HAVE TO PAY SALARIES, RENT BUILDINGS, BUY CARS, TRAIN ALL
THESE PEOPLE. YOU COULD TAKE THESE
INDIVIDUALS AND, LOOK, THIS IS A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY IF THIS
IS AN ISSUE THAT THE FOLKS BELIEVE IN, THE LIEUTENANT
GOVERNOR COULD PLAY A VERY KEY ROLE IN, RIGHT? YOU DO HAVE CYFD. YOU HAVE HEALTH, HUMAN
SERVICES, EDUCATION. YOU KNOW, MAYBE THIS COULD BE
THE AVENUE WHERE THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR STEPS IN
AND SAYS, I AM GOING TO BE THE LIAISON FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD
EDUCATION AND CREATE A LEGISLATION THAT SAYS, HERE IS
FINALLY A RESPONSIBILITY OTHER THAN JUST PRESIDING OVER THE
SENATE. HERE IS AN ACTUAL JOB.>>I JUST WANT TO ADD TO THAT. YOU KNOW, WHY WOULD SO MANY
CONSERVATIVES VOTE FOR THIS. BECAUSE I DO THINK THE RUBBER
HITS THE ROAD, ARE WE GOING TO FUND — THE BOTTOM LINE IS ARE
WE GOING TO STOP TALKING, WE ALL LOVE KIDS AND I AM PRO
KIDS, ARE WE PUTTING OUR MONEY WHERE OUR MOUTH IS. THAT’S BEEN THE CENTRAL
QUESTION SOME FOLKS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, SMITH
PRIMARY AND AMONG THEM, WE REPUBLICANS, WE LOVE KIDS, HOW
ABOUT CREATE A DEPARTMENT? YEAH. THAT WILL SHOW THEM WE DID
SOMETHING, I ALMOST FEEL LIKE —
>>LIKE PASSING A MEMORIAL.>>CYNICAL POLITICS. HAVING SAID THAT IF YOU DID
BOTH, IF YOU SAID, OKAY, WE GOT TO HAVE THE
INFRASTRUCTURE. YOU DON’T CREATE A NEW
POSITIONS BUT YOU TAKE FOLKS ALL DISPERSED AMONG FOUR OR
FIVE AGENCIES, A CABINET PERSON, YOU GET A SERIOUS
PERSON, MIGHT BE AT DEPUTY LEVEL AT PUBLIC EDUCATION
DEPARTMENT, SOMEONE HAS A REAL TRACK RECORD ON THIS AND YOUR
JOB IS TO MAKE SURE WE CREATE A SYSTEM THAT IS WORTHY OF THE
FUNDING THAT WE ARE GOING TO PUT INTO IT. I THINK THAT IS THE ARGUMENT. I AM A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED
THAT I DO THINK THERE IS A LEVEL OF CYNICAL POLITICS WITH
SOME CONSERVATIVE FOLKS.>>ONE THING ABOUT — I DO
THINK ONE THING I DISAGREE WITH, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, A
LOT OF CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS ARE FROM RURAL
DISTRICTS AND CHILDCARE IS A HUGE ISSUE IN RURAL NEW
MEXICO. FIGURING OUT A WAY TO GET
WORKING FOLKS CHILDCARE AT A REASONABLE COST IS
UNBELIEVABLE OPPORTUNITY THAT I THINK MORE REPUBLICANS MAY
BE IN FAVOR OF LISTENING TO WHAT ERIC IS TALKING ABOUT
THAN HE THINKS.>>WE HAVE TO GET INTO THE
IDEA OF THE 1% DIDN’T WORK OUT AND NOW DOWN TO.5%. GOVERNOR ON WEDNESDAY
TESTIFYING IN FRONT OF COMMITTEE TO ACTUALLY MAKE
THIS HAPPEN. A COMPROMISE THAT YOU FEEL IS
GOING TO WORK FOR THIS? WE ARE TALKING A GOOD AMOUNT
OF MONEY AND I WANT TO THROW IN THE PUSH BACK OF FOLKS WHO
ARE SAYING, LOOK, INSTEAD OF FRONT LOADING ALL THE MONEY
LET’S LET IT PLAY OUT LONG-TERM AND IT WILL WORK OUT
BETTER FOR THE KIDS AND BETTER FOR THE PERMANENT FUND. WHAT IS YOUR SENSE OF BOTH OF
THOSE THINGS?>>ONE THING — WELL, IT IS A
STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TO REDUCE IT IN HALF. HOWEVER, SHE PUT IN A COUPLE
OF THINGS THAT IF THE MONEY IS EVER DROPPED DOWN — THE
PERMANENT FUND EVER DROPPED DOWN TO LESS THAN
12.5 BILLION, SOMETHING LIKE THAT, THEN NEW BRAKES WOULD BE
PUT IN PLACE. THE ONLY THING IT DOESN’T HAVE
THOUGH IS IT DOESN’T HAVE A SUNSET. ARE WE PLANNING ON DOING THIS
FOREVER? I THINK IF THERE WAS A SUNSET
INCLUDED JUST LIKE WE DID WITH THE TEACHER RAISES, WE GAVE IT
10 YEARS, LET’S SEE IF IT IS GOING TO WORK. LET’S SEE IF IT IS GOING TO
WORK. IF THIS IS GOING TO WORK,
THEN, IT IS JUST A RENEWAL.>>THE PUBLIC IS HUNGRY FOR
SOMETHING. THERE IS A REAL WANT OUT THERE
FOR THIS KIND OF THING. THE GOVERNOR IS MAKING A GOOD
PUSH HERE, NOT GIVING UP ON IT. IN THE LONG PLAY IF IT DOESN’T
HAPPEN IN THIS SESSION, DO YOU ANTICIPATE THIS IS JUST THE
WARMUP TO SOMETHING THAT IS GOING TO KEEP COMING UP EVERY
SESSION?>>IT IS JUST A WARMUP BECAUSE
THIS IS A HUGE –>>IT HAS BEEN WARNING UP FOR
10 YEARS.>>AGAIN, YOU HAVE GOT TO
BRING IT BACK TO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO THE PERSON ON THE
STREET? RIGHT NOW IT IS JUST A BUNCH
OF THEORY AND WHAT IS IT GOING TO COME DOWN TO?>>WE CAME UP WITH THIS IDEA
OF 10 YEARS AGO AND THE REASON IS WE DIDN’T WANT TO RAISE
TAXES. WE HAD THIS MASSIVE PERMANENT
FUND. SO, AGAIN, IF REPUBLICANS AND
CONSERVATIVES AND PEOPLE THAT CARE ABOUT THIS FUND, THE
140,000 KIDS, MOST OF WHOM RIGHT NOW ARE NOT GETTING
ANYTHING, ANYTHING, IF WE ARE SERIOUS, IF YOU DON’T DO IT,
OWN THE FACT THAT WE ARE 50TH IN CHILD WELL-BEING. I AM GOOD WITH THAT. I DON’T WANT TO SPEND ANYMORE
MONEY. WE ARE GOOD BEING 50TH IN
CHILD WELL-BEING.>>WHEN WE COME BACK TO THE
LINE WE’LL LOOK AT CONFLICTING STATISTICS ABOUT THE USE OF
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT IN NEW MEXICO PRISONS.

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