ALBUQUERQUE – House Education Chair Stephanie Garcia Richard has spent the legislative session playing partisan games instead of standing up for New Mexico's kids and education system. She voted against the largest teacher pay raise in decades. She's broken the rules to bury a non-controversial, commonsense proposal to help improve student performance by sending parents text messages about absences and missed assignments. Now, Rep. Garcia Richard has been busted for skipping out on work to attend a gala.

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While the New Mexico House of Representatives was conducting business on Saturday, Rep. Garcia Richards ducked out early. She missed the rest of the recorded votes for the evening, starting at 5:28 p.m., according to the official record. Later on, she was spotted at the "black tie event of the year," a gala that was apparently more important to her than representing Los Alamos in the Roundhouse.

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While Garcia Richards was mixing, Los Alamos was hung out to dry: according to the Fiscal Impact Report prepared by the legislature for HB 191, Los Alamos could have received $6.5 million over the next decade. Instead, the bill failed because Los Alamos wasn't even represented while the legislature made a decision that had a multi-million dollar impact on its budget.

"When her community needed her most, Stephanie Garcia Richards literally walked out on the job to attend a red-carpet gala," said RPNM Chairman Ryan Cangiolosi. "Garcia Richards has proven over and over that she's only interested in advancing her political career, driving partisanship and playing political games. If she can't be bothered to show up to fight for Los Alamos with millions of dollars on the line, she shouldn't be a legislator, and she certainly shouldn't be running for a promotion."

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