#3 – Enough with the vetoes already!
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.
The list of Governor Martinez’ villainous vetoes is too long for any single blog post, and tomes could also be written about the lawsuit that followed her last vetoes, based on lack of reason. Regardless, here are a few worth reliving, days before she enters into her last legislative session as our Governor:
- Minimum wage. The state’s minimum wage is a lousy $7.50/hour, which hasn’t increased in almost a decade. This has been a consistent point for the Martinez administration, vetoing several minimum wage bills since she’s taken office. One of the minimum wage bills she vetoed last year had the support the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, which is quite telling. If the business community, often the loudest voice against minimum wage, was behind the bill, where was Governor Martinez?
- Funding for higher education. If you tuned in yesterday, you already know that the Governor has no problem making decisions that negatively impact students in New Mexico. With her blanket veto of last year’s budget, which then lead to a costly special legislative session, we also know that Martinez has no qualms using our state universities, and their students, as pawns in a dangerous game of political chess. Public funding for higher education in New Mexico has been on the decline for years, forcing schools to raise tuition and related costs. No doubt, there is work to be done to tighten and improve our higher education in New Mexico, but Governor Martinez’ holding our schools and students hostage was downright reckless.
- Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act. You know what the biggest problem is with our workforce? Pregnant women. With their morning sickness, inability to lift heavy objects, and their constant desire to stay hydrated, pregnant women are clearly a threat to otherwise productive businesses, or so the Governor would have you believe. That must be why she vetoed the Pregnant Worker Accommodation Action, which would’ve required businesses to make “reasonable accommodations” for expectant mothers. The thing is, we were all born from mothers. Each of us has one, even the Governor.