Senate committee kills bill to keep government job applications secret

A state Senate committee voted unanimously Thursday to stop a bill that would have changed the public records law to allow state agencies to keep secret the names and résumés of most job applicants. The Senate Public Affairs Committee voted 5-0 to table Senate Bill 93, sponsored by Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup. The bill would have restricted public access to most applications for government jobs. If an applicant didn’t become a finalist for a position, the application would be kept secret forever. “Some positions merit disclosure,” said Sen. Bill O’Neill, D-Albuquerque, a committee member.

UNM Regent’s political ties questioned after HSC overhaul

A political action committee that supports GOP candidates is housed in the same law office as the president of the University of New Mexico Board of Regents who co-authored recent controversial changes to the university’s Health Science Center. The incorporation document for New Mexicans for Honest Leadership lists the same downtown Albuquerque address and suite as Doughty, Alcaraz & deGraauw, according to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office. The PAC is in good standing with the state. Doughty, Alcaraz & deGraauw is the same law firm where Robert Doughty, who the state Senate confirmed as a regent last year, works as a partner. Campaign finance reports don’t list Doughty’s name as associated with the PAC.

Martinez names Chandler, two others to benches

Former District Attorney Matt Chandler will be a district court judge in the Ninth Judicial District Court just months after being rejected for a high profile position as a University of New Mexico regent. Gov. Susana Martinez announced the appointments of Chandler and two others to fill judicial vacancies on Wednesday afternoon. Chandler has had an up and down couple of years. Chandler announced in early 2014 that he would resign to start his own local practice, and “pursue new endeavors in the private sector.” But it was his work in politics that led to the Senate rejecting his move back to government work in the form of a Board of Regents seat at the state’s largest university.

Martinez names Republican to fill Senate vacancy

Gov. Susana Martinez named a Republican to fill a vacancy in the state Senate. Martinez named former Estancia mayor Ted Barela to replace former State Senator Phil Griego. The Torrance County Commission named Barela as their choice to fill the vacancy. “I have great confidence that Ted will work hard to represent the residents of District 39 well and believe he’s committed to working with legislators from both parties to diversify our economy and improve our schools,” Martinez said in a statement. Griego resigned with just days left in the legislative session.

Chandler gets do not pass from committee, setting up floor battle

A contentious meeting for an appointee to the University of New Mexico Board of Regents ended in a rare do-not-pass recommendation from the Senate Rules Committee on Friday. It was the second meeting involving Matt Chandler, a former District Attorney, who was appointed by Gov. Susana Martinez to serve on the UNM Board of Regents. Chandler received a do-pass from the same committee earlier this week, but the confirmation never came to a vote on the floor because he did not have enough votes to pass. Instead, it was sent back to the Senate committee for another hearing, which was more contentious with sharp exchanges between Chandler and Democratic members of the panel. On a 6-4 party-line vote, the panel recommended a do-not pass.