SANTA FE – A plan to create a new endowment fund for New Mexico early childhood programs by shifting control of millions of acres of federally owned mineral rights stalled in the Roundhouse on Wednesday, after being hit with a wave of opposition.
In an unusual move, the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, asked members of a Senate committee to table the measure, which they did.
Although the legislation, Senate Bill 182, could be brought back up later in this year’s 60-day legislative session, Papen said Wednesday that it needs significant fine-tuning.
“It needs a lot more work,” Papen told the Journal.
She also said Land Commissioner Aubrey Dunn, the architect of the legislation, was in agreement with the decision.