New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is considering recommendations from a special task force addressing the New Mexico Educational Retirement Board's $2.4 billion shortfall. The group's nine suggestions included freeing up the $6.7 billion pension plan to make investments the state hasn't sanctioned on its "legal list," including alternative investments. Another recommendation would have the Santa Fe-based fund report to a legislative oversight committee. The task force also wanted to discuss the possibility of combining the Educational Retirement Board with the $9.4 billion New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association, also in Santa Fe, and to evaluate the possibility of creating an alternate defined contribution plan for new school employees. Several bills addressing these issues are now before the state Legislature.