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Overhaul of regent selection

Sen. Mark Moores

Sen. Jeff Steinborn

A plan to overhaul New Mexico’s system for nominating university regents took a big step forward Monday.

Members of the Senate Rules Committee voted without dissent to approve the measure, Senate Joint Resolution 1, co-sponsored by Sens. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, and Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque.

The proposed change to the state Constitution would take the authority to nominate regents away from the governor, and establish nominating commissions for the posts.

Those commissions would recommend a list of names to the governor, who would then make the final selection.

New Mexico’s current system has come under scrutiny for being overly political, and the sponsors of the measure say the change would lead to more thorough, bipartisan searches for regents.

The proposal, which would have to be ratified by voters statewide in November, now advances to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

HOOPS: Roundhouse bragging rights – along with various joints and ligaments – will be on the line next week when the Senate seeks to extend its recent dominance over the House in the annual legislative charity basketball game.

The Senate “Lobos” have defeated the House “Aggies” for the past four years in the annual matchup, which raises money for the University of New Mexico Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Last year’s game raised more than $30,000.

The Senate team will be coached this year by UNM football coach Bob Davie, while the House team will be coached by New Mexico State University football coach Doug Martin.

The House has at least one advantage, having 70 members to the Senate’s 42 members, though that hasn’t translated to victory on the hardwood in recent years.

The game will be played at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Santa Fe Indian School gymnasium.

MEMORIAL SERVICE: A Roundhouse memorial service will take place today for a longtime legislative staffer who died in December.

Gloria Trujillo worked for more than 31 years for the Legislative Council Service – her tenure covered nine governors – and she ended her career as a senior policy adviser on tax-related bills.

Affectionately referred to as the tax lady, she was renowned for using an adding machine to draft complex tax bills and for fixing typos.

A legislative memorial will also be introduced honoring Trujillo, who was 87 when she died. The public memorial for Trujillo will be held at 2 p.m. in the Capitol rotunda.

Dan Boyd: