(Santa Fe, NM) – Rep. Dennis Roch (R-Curry, Harding, Quay, Roosevelt, and San Miguel & Union-67) will appear on the PBS show “Report from Santa Fe,” which will air statewide this weekend. Rep. Roch, the current Assistant Superintendent for Tucumcari Public Schools, will discuss the Education Funding Formula along with other topics relating to education. The show will air on Saturday, January 31st at 6pm on KENW Channel 3, Sunday morning February 1st at 6am on KNME Channel 5, and again at 1pm on KRWG in Las Cruces. In addition, it will be broadcasted on Monday February 2 at 9:30am on 89.1FM radio. Rep. Roch will be joined by Rep. Rick Miera (D-Bernalillo-11) for the debate.
Below is a partial transcript from the program:
Rep. Miera: If we are going to find this money, we just have to ask the people if they are serious enough about it that they tell their legislators and the legislators have to have the gall and the will to just go ahead and make the tax and vote it up or down. That’s where we are at.
Rep. Roch: The Chairman and I agree on a lot of issues especially when it comes to education. I am going to have to respectfully disagree with him on the tax issue. I am a fiscal conservative and most of the folks that I talk to in my district and across the state say, you know while education is a notable need in the state and we have to invest some money in it, I don’t know that taxing us into prosperity is the way….So here is something that we have observed and that I have observed, over the last eight years or six years we have seen about 6,000 new state employees added to the rolls – 6,000 new employees and the average salary and benefits package of about $79,000 that accounts to about $480 million dollars. Now I am not saying that none of those employees was worthwhile or is doing a great job, but if you go to the local folks, most of them say, I don’t see any new employees at the MVD when I go down to get my license renewed. There is still just the one window open. Or folks up in Des Moines or Clayton in my district that say the guys that drive the snow removal equipment there aren’t more of them and the highways are still impassible when we have a big storm. So folks in the real world out in the districts and the small towns, they don’t see where the state government of investment of $480 million dollars has benefited their lives. But they say put that money in my local school and we will show you what we can do with it.