Worst Vetoes of 2012!

Print More

Have you have ever thought that Susana Martinez was against adults reading, health care for women, poor people eating, safe nursing homes, preventing HIV/AIDS transmission and Main Street jobs, but could never prove it?

Look no further than her list of vetoes in the 2012 New Mexico State Budget.  

We went line-by-line through more than 5,700 lines of the state budget to review the governor’s 2012 vetoes to produce:

The Worst Vetoes of 2012

10.   Vetoed provisions directing the Department of Health to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission.   22,000 people were targeted for assistance in this program before the veto. (p. 131)

Bonus! She also vetoed funding for a substance abuse treatment program in Rio Arriba County, which suffers from one of the highest substance abuse rates in the nation. (p. 131)AND provisions requiring state labs to turnaround communicable and other threatening disease testing in a reasonable and specified time.  Thanks to this veto, the state lab now has no requirement to act quickly when new strains of flu, food-borne illnesses or plague are suspected. (p. 133)


9.     Vetoed $22,000 to support the Judicial Nominating Commission which evaluates potential judicial nominees.  This veto comes less than a year after at least three New Mexico judges resigned over scandals involving bribery, drunken driving and sex. (p. 11)


8.     Struck out a requirement that PED publicly report to two legislative committees on its plan to implement teacher and student evaluation changes. (p. 163).  Eliminating this provision eliminated legislative input and oversight of the associated spending.


7.     Vetoed funding supporting statewide athletic and extracurricular programs, like state basketball tournaments, in public schools. (p. 163)


6.     Eliminated the mandate requiring state-run nursing homes and mental health centers strive for zero cases of “abuse, neglect or exploitation” in the year. (p. 134). The Department of Health will apparently have no expectation from the governor to prevent or report such cases.


5.     Vetoed provisions requiring PED to spend money for the “reading coaches” Martinez called for in her State of the State address. (p. 163).  That money can now be used for other projects.

 Bonus! Vetoed an important check on spending requiring that money allocated for prekindergarten and the prekindergarten-plus-three programs be used “only for direct instruction, transportation and approved administrative costs.” (p. 162).  Without these oversight provisions, there appears to be no check on how these state funds can be spent by PED.


4.     After striking out language that the state had sufficient funding to support adult basic education programs (p. 202), she then vetoed funding for library programs teaching adults to read. (p. 92)


3.     Keeping the Republican war on women alive in New Mexico, Martinez vetoed $50,000 for women’s health services (p. 131)


2.     Vetoed funding to provide access to food for the poor and homeless in Gallup (p. 117)


And the worst veto of 2012…


1.     Susana Martinez vetoed an appropriation for the “Main Street” job creation program – a grassroots program working in 22 communities to create local jobs and spur millions in private investment in local communities.  (p. 62)



Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for facebook-share.png

Share this post on Facebook!


Not getting the latest in NM political talk?

Sign up for our breaking news alerts in our Quick Email Signup

Just last year alone the state reported that “MainStreet spawned 140 new businesses, generated $9,365,070 in private reinvestment, and gave rise to 598 new jobs.”   The Main Street Program was expected to create another 600 local jobs in 2013 before the veto.


This devastating job news comes in the same week that Martinez vetoed SB9, a hard-fought measure to close a tax loophole that lets out-of-state companies avoid paying income tax while their New Mexico-owned competitors pay on every dollar they generate.


And, because she hadn’t already made competing against multi-national companies who pay no taxes hard enough, Martinez also vetoed $100,000 in excellence training, assessment and assistance for New Mexico businesses. (p. 205)­­

Share this post on Facebook!

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for facebook-share.png

A budget is a moral document that reflects our priorities as a government and as a people. The budget that passed the legislature in 2012 was arrived at after months of debate and negotiation with input from all, including the governor. And, for the first time in recent memory, it was passed in a bi-partisan and unanimous fashion. 

The result was a fiscally responsible budget that needed no tweaking at all to become law.


Consequently, every penstroke of the governor’s veto pen is an expression of her own personal values and, thus, provides us with the opportunity to examine her moral choices as expressed by her extensive list of vetoes.  

Through such an examination we can begin to truly appreciate the governor’s philosophy and governing style.  The result is a stark contrast betwee New Mexico’s values and thos chosen by Governor Susana Matinez.

The legislature handed Martinez a bi-partisan, balanced budget that included funding for programs that she specifically called for, like preserving access to nursing homes for vulnerable seniors and reading coaches for struggling children.

Instead, Martinez vetoed important provisions to back up those programs.

Worse, she chose to eliminate food programs for the poor, treatment programs for the sick and healthcare programs for women.

And, for the small businessess on Main Street, which define our towns and are the centerpieces of our communities, she dealt them a one-two death punch by failing to give them the tax relief they so desperately need and then vetoing funding for programs already growing local jobs.


Finally, Martinez provided a lot of strong contenders for this list. Sadly, not all of them made the final cut.  But many deserve special recognition: 


Dis-honorable Mentions


    • Struck out a provision requiring private charter schools using public funds to operate within the same program costs of local school districts (p. 199).
  • Eliminated legislatively mandated input from the state’s educators in how early reading funding could best benefit New Mexico students. (p. 162)
  • Vetoed programs providing arts education to youth (p. 92)
  • Vetoed $200,000 for senior citizen services in Valencia County. (p. 206)
  • Vetoed $75,000 to assist the Navajo nation provide emergency management for floods, drought and fire on the nation. (p.111)
  • Vetoed funds set aside for the Tourism Department to promote New Mexico’s adventure tourism destinations. (p. 60). This is just another part of Martinez’s refusal to fund programs that would bring tourism dollars and jobs back to communities hardest hit by our economic downturn.
  • Struck out a provision requiring private charter schools using public funds to operate within the same program costs of local school districts (p. 199).
  • Martinez vetoed FOUR different provisions requiring the state’s Public Education Department to report to the legislature when it spent “emergency” funds for struggling schools. (pp. 161, 201, 208 & 209)
  • Vetoed a provision which would have required CYFD to come up with a plan to eliminate the waiting list for poor families to obtain early childhood education and child care assistance from the state. (p. 144)
  • Vetoed a requirement that the Department of Finance and Administration regularly revenue collection to the legislature and consult with the legislature on budget projections in the coming year. (p. 4)
  • Likewise her veto of nursing home safety compliance, Martinez also vetoed standards requiring the state to complete at least 85% of its compliance surveys for adult care programs in 2013. (p. 136). Without this requirement, the state will not have to report the number of health and safety checks it does on these important programs.





Read the full list of vetoes on the governor’s website, and the full state
on the legislature’s website.