GOP Threatens Funds for Seniors to Punish Dems for Standing Up for Kids

GOP Threatens Funds for Seniors to Punish Dems for Standing Up for Kids

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.

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