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Gov. Lujan Grisham appoints two new members to SIC

SANTA FE — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has appointed two new members to the New Mexico State Investment Council, which oversees roughly $25 billion in total funds.

The first-term Democratic governor selected Tracy Hartzler, a budget official at Central New Mexico Community College and former legislative analyst, and Michael Messina, an Albuquerque attorney, to seats on the 11-member investment council.

The two appointments mean nearly half of the SIC’s membership — or five out of eleven members — has now turned over since January, as Lujan Grisham is one of several elected officials on the investment council and also has the authority to select some of its members.

The appointments of Hartzler and Messina, which are both subject to Senate confirmation, were effective immediately and both members are expected to participate in their first SIC meeting next month.

They replace Scott Smart and Lynn Hoffman, who were both appointed by former Gov. Susana Martinez but also drew praise Tuesday from Lujan Grisham.

“I’m optimistic our two new appointees will provide the same steady and even-handed management of our state’s all-important investment funds,” the governor said in a statement.

State lawmakers overhauled the makeup of the SIC earlier in 2010 after the agency was confronted with investment scandals.

Under the current set-up, the governor appoints four of the SIC’s members — not counting the governor’s own spot on the investment council — and top-ranking legislators appoint an additional four members.

Per state law, the remaining seats are filled by elected officials — currently the governor, state Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard and state Treasurer Tim Eichenberg.

Among other investments, the State Investment Council oversees two large permanent funds that get money from state taxes and royalties on oil and natural gas production, along with revenue from other activities on state trust land.

The larger of the two funds, the Land Grant Permanent Fund, is one of the biggest funds of its type in the country and is set to distribute more than $780 million to New Mexico public schools and other designated beneficiaries during the budget year that starts July 1.


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