GOP Threatens Funds for Seniors to Punish Dems for Standing Up for Kids
February 16, 2012
The clock ran out on Gov. Susana Martinez's third-grade retention
bills. Rep. Mimi Stewart, who has argued all session long that holding
back third graders is detrimental to their education, rambled out the
last 15 minutes and then closed with a short, passionate speech.
If the bill had been amended to remove hard retention, she said, it
would have received unanimous approval from both bodies.
"It's a sad day when one small amendment on this bill would have
brought unanimous approval," she said, noting the intervention and
parental-involvment stipulations she and her colleagues all felt was
important for reforming New Mexico education.
Her filibuster came after Rep. Dennis Roch filibustered for over an
hour, until there was only about 20 minutes left in the legislative
session. Roch was apparently retaliating for the governor's
third-grade retention bills not getting passed this legislative
Roch stalled by asking brainless question after brainless question
about the legislation that was up: Senate Bill 66, which puts to
voters whether they approve of general obligation bond money for
capital improvements to senior citizen facilities, libraries, and
The measure passed unanimously, but not before anguished and
unnecessary debate. At one point, someone in the audience gallery
yelled down "Pass the G.O.! Stop filibustering!" and was roughly
removed by security.