GOP Wins Fight Over Defunding Senior, Tribal and Education Programs in NM
“Democrats are angry because Republicans in the House of Representatives rewrote the $264 million capital outlay bill to eliminate money for schools and senior citizens projects, moving the dollars to road projects…
“Capital outlay dollars repair roads, keep school buildings in top condition, assist tribes with their construction needs, help smaller colleges ($400,000 for Santa Fe Community College has been lost) and spread the wealth to every corner of the state. Such projects deserve better than sudden death.”
“But what was changed in the new House version of the bill?
“Overall, Gov. Martinez and House Republicans proposed 77 percent cuts to Aging and Long-Term Services Department projects, 26 percent cuts to projects in our Native communities and 44 percent cuts to higher education.
“For example, in Valencia County (which Rep. Kelly Fajardo represents), Republicans cut $700,000 for improvements to a senior center in Los Lunas and cut $150,000 for critical infrastructure improvements on The University of New Mexico-Valencia campus. (Though Republicans made sure to add $150,000 to improve UNM’s already brand-new basketball practice facility, even though no one asked for it.)
“Martinez recently said that people are “tired of politicians” because of the ways they stifle progress. No one is more of a politician than Martinez, and nothing reflects the dysfunction currently operating in New Mexico politics like her and her Republican allies sabotaging a needed public works bill and then petulantly blaming Democrats for what was a clear Republican failure.”