State awaits address by governor Tuesday

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By Carol A. Clark

A packed house is expected when Gov. Richardson presents his annual State of the State address Tuesday in the House Chambers at the State Capitol.

The Legislature convenes at noon to kickoff the 2009 session with the governor’s address scheduled to follow around 1 p.m.

In the last few weeks, Richardson’s office has sent out a number of news releases detailing issues at the top of his agenda he hopes to move through this year’s legislature.

The governor has outlined expanded education initiatives reiterating his support for changing the current education funding formula.

Two years ago, he signed legislation to fund a task force to study the funding formula that New Mexico has used for more than 30 years. The task force found the funding formula to be outdated saying it underfunds schools by $350 million.

Richardson supports changing state law so voters, rather than the Legislature, decide how funding changes to the formula.

Rep. Jeannette Wallace, R-Los Alamos, Santa Fe and Sandoval counties, sits on the powerful Legislative Finance Committee responsible for assessing the state's budget.

She does not agree with Richardson on this bill.

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