It is, of course, the role and right of any governor to veto bills that he or she believes to not be in the best interest of the people. What’s not okay is to veto bills that are desperately needed to elevate the status of people across the state, especially our vulnerable populations, especially without reason.
After being accused of stealing a hamburger from a Santa Fe eatery earlier this week, Governor Susana Martinez just received even more bad news. The ten bills she vetoed without cause earlier this year just formally became law. This is great news for the citizens of New Mexico. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver released the following statement today, addressing her formal “chaptering” of these new laws effective immediately.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE September 28, 2017
Toulouse Oliver Chapters 10 Bills Improperly Vetoed During 2017 Legislative Session
SANTA FE – Earlier today, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver was notified that District Court Judge Sarah Singleton has denied Governor Susana Martinez’s request to stay pending appeal the chaptering of ten bills that the Governor improperly vetoed during the 2017 legislative session. Upon receiving the ten bills from the House and Senate Clerks this morning, Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver has chaptered all ten bills. “As ordered by the Court, my office has swiftly chaptered all ten of the bills that the Court determined were improperly vetoed during the 2017 legislative session,” said Secretary of State Toulouse Oliver.
After facing criticism for leaving more than 200 bills unsigned on her desk while leaving the state to speak at a conference of Tennessee workers, Martinez surprised nearly everyone by coming back to the state to announce hundreds-of-millions of dollars in vetoes, including vetoes to the entire budgets of every state college and university and the entire budget of the legislature, a branch she admits in her veto message is supposed to be a co-equal branch of government. The vetoed version of the budget includes line-item vetoes of the entire legislative budget.
At $18.7 million, the budget for the entire branch of government amounts to just 0.03% of the state’s $6 billion budget. Gov. also vetoes legislator memberships, keeps $100,000 in memberships for her out-of-state conferences and travel
Martinez also vetoed memberships and funds for travel for state legislators to attend legislative events but she kept more than $100,000 for her own memberships to governor’s conferences she frequently attends of out state at taxpayer expense, including the National and Western States Governors Associations.
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As a student, father, husband, son, current Master’s student, and former college professor and high school teacher, I sit at my keyboard and type this statement with tears in my eyes, and in a complete state of disbelief. Our Governor has chosen to balance the budget by cutting ALL funding to higher education in New Mexico. Yes, you read that right – now let it sink in a bit. Read more:
Gov. Martinez vetoed every college and university in New Mexico because the Senate won’t confirm her partisan nominee. As a college student in 2000, I worked at Albuquerque High School, as a mentor for the Enlace program.
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.
Last week, Gov. Susana Martinez nixed over $8 million in capital outlay spending, meaning there’s now $8 million less being pumped into New Mexico’s economy than there otherwise could be. And some counties will feel the pain harder than others. Most of the projects vetoed by Martinez were projects sponsored by Democrats or co-sponsored by high profile Democrats. Only 9%, or 14 projects total, that went under the knife were sponsored by Republican lawmakers. New Mexico is a large state geographically (5th largest in the U.S.) and although high density populations are centered in some cities, outlying communities near cities were seriously undercut by the governor’s vetoes this year.
Governor Martinez used her veto pen today to kill more than 150 already paid-for public projects across the state. That’s a big headline on it’s own; but it’s even more relevant when we compare a few of the things she did, and didn’t, veto from the state budget. For the third time in four years, Governor Martinez vetoed critical state funding for the only detox and homeless shelter in the Gallup region. 25 people have died from alcohol-related exposure deaths there over the past two winters, KOB TV recently reported. Senators Udall and Heinrich stepped up to help find federal funding to fill the gap left by the governor’s veto last year. This year’s funding would have provided shelter and detox services into next winter, but this veto leaves funding uncertain for the many alcohol-dependent and homeless New Mexicans in the area where alcoholism and homelessness exceed the state and national average by several times. A Democratic state legislator has inserted the appropriation, in different forms, for the past four years.
It’s official. As of today, if the governor didn’t sign a bill it dies. And some didn’t even get the dignity of a quiet death. Some she killed right out in public. From the budget to booze to books on science, we tracked down some of the biggest and most unbelievable vetoes from Susana Martinez in 2015.