Continuing her trend of taking our state government into the land of Trump-level absurdity, Gov. Martinez has gone on a hot streak of vetoing numerous bills (with little or no explanation) that got to her desk with almost unanimous support.
The ABQ Journal headline says it all: “Martinez issues fifth unexplained veto in two days”
UPDATE [3/15/17]: the number has climbed to 6 now as she today vetoed yet another Senate bill, SB 356, without explanation.
UPDATE [3/16/17]: the number has now climbed to 8 (!)
Remember last week when she complained that the two chambers were being lazy and not giving her enough bills to sign (even though they’d passed 175 bills at that time)?
Now she’s vetoed 6 that were supported by many members of her own party, some of which would also have had a direct economic benefit on the state, like Sen. Padilla’s bill to make it easier to for cities and counties to bring in high-speed internet. All the bills have originated in the Senate – the same Senate that just yesterday handed down her first veto override. Coincidence?
For the fifth time in two days, Gov. Susana Martinez on Wednesday vetoed legislation that had drawn broad bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature.
And she offered no explanation for her decision in any of the veto messages.
The first bill she rejected Wednesday was aimed at making it easier for local governments to support the development of broadband infrastructure for high-speed Internet.
It won approval 37-1 in the Senate and 62-0 in the state House. A bipartisan pair of legislators sponsored it: Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. James Smith, R-Sandia Park.
Padilla immediately lashed out at the governor for the unexplained veto.
“After hearing the news that New Mexico has the highest unemployment in the nation,” Padilla said in a written statement, “it’s hard to imagine why Gov. Martinez would stand in the way of our cities and counties efforts to bring high-speed internet that would attract needed jobs and support local small businesses.”
Martinez is turning the WTF factor up to 10 among politicos and the public alike with these head-scratching actions. Considering the past week of bad press she’s had, coupled with her overall standing with the public at-large, it’s unclear what she hopes to accomplish here.
These vetoes come at a horrible time for Martinez, a time she seems to just be making worse by her own baffling actions.
As Sen. Padilla states in the article, this week saw New Mexico ranked as having the highest unemployment in the nation. So, of course, she then vetoes a bill that could have spurred economic development.
This week also saw her own party initiate a first-ever (under her administration) veto override of a bill to allow teachers to use more of their sick leave without being penalized in their teacher evaluations.
And all this comes on the heels of new polling showing 57% of New Mexico voters disapprove of the job she’s doing as governor.
On a scale of 1 to 10, Gov. Martinez may have just turned the WTF factor up to 11.