New Mexico Senate OKs bill to make NMSU Carlsbad independent college

Senate Bill 236, a bill which creates a platform for the transition of New Mexico State University Carlsbad to an independent college, passed the New Mexico Senate by a vote of 39 to 2 on March 8.

Titled “Independent Carlsbad Community College” the bill was introduced by Sen. Gay Kernan (D42), and received extended debate on the Senate floor prior to passage.

“One thing you have to understand about becoming independent there is no additional cost to the state and would in no way add an additional college because it would simply be changing from a branch college to an independent college,” Kernan said in her introduction of the bill.

Past coverage:House committee approves bill to make NMSU Carlsbad an independent college

Sen. Gay Kernan on March 8 on the New Mexico Senate floor introduces Senate Bill 236 to help create an independent community college from New Mexico State University's Carlsbad branch.

Sen. Jeff Steinborn (District 36) and Sen. Bill Tallman (District 18) voted no to passage. Steinborn’s district encompasses Doña Ana County, home to New Mexico State University. Tallman’s district encompasses Bernalillo County.

Steinborn, during debate on the bill on the Senate floor, noted that the Carlsbad community would have to make up the $5 million sent by New Mexico State University to the branch campus each year, though Kernan pointed out that the college would retain the $1 million it currently pays for branding to the university and would have access to $36 million in bond funds reserved for the branch college.