SANTA FE – The ranking Republican member on a New Mexico Senate committee in charge of holding confirmation hearings has criticized Democrats for not scheduling meetings this summer to address a lingering backlog of appointees, but a top Senate Democrat said Tuesday the panel will meet at least once before the 2018 legislative session.
Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican whose second term in office ends next year, has repeatedly accused the Democratic-controlled Senate of stalling her appointments, especially when it comes to university regents.
And the issue has flared up again in recent weeks with leadership changes on the horizon for the state’s two largest universities – the University of New Mexico and New Mexico State University.
University regents, who are appointed by the governor, have come under scrutiny at NMSU after university chancellor Garrey Carruthers said last week he’d been told by regents that they did not intend to extend his contract. That prompted an outpouring of support for Carruthers from lawmakers and student leaders.