Group wants legislators to override Martinez’s budget vetoes

by Matthew Reichbach, New Mexico Political Report
April 13, 2017

A progressive group is advocating for legislators to override Gov. Susana Martinez’s vetoes of portions of the budget and an entire tax package.

The odds of veto overrides are slim. The bills passed the Senate with wide, bipartisan support but passed more narrowly on party lines in the House.

New Mexico Voices for Children urged supporters to contact their legislators to override the vetoes, citing the zeroing-out of the entire higher education budget.

“New Mexico’s legislators delivered a balanced budget that funds critical services like education, health care, and public safety, and they came up with a responsible way to pay for it,” the email says. “But Governor Martinez vetoed the entire higher education budget because she’s angry at the state Senate. And she would rather stick to her outdated political ‘no tax’ pledge even if that means hurting hard-working families.”

The governor also vetoed all funding for the Legislature.

The vetoes would affect the budget starting on July 1.

The organization is rarely on the same side of issues as the governor, especially when it comes to funding.

When Martinez calls legislators into a special session, it will cost an estimated $50,000 a day while both chambers are in session.

The Senate voted to override a veto of a bill that would have allowed teachers to take all ten days of their allotted sick leave without punishment to their evaluations. The rule at the time was that after three days of sick leave teachers would see their evaluations docked.

The House failed to override the veto. Every Republican voted against the override even though all but three had voted for the original bill—and some of the bill’s sponsors were House Republicans.

House Republicans are more closely aligned with the governor than their Senate colleagues.

The Public Education Department later amended the rule to allow teachers to take six days of leave without punishment.

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