Sandra Fish | New Mexico In Depth
Democratic lawmakers felt the brunt of Gov. Susana Martinez’s 42 capital outlay project vetoes, with 27 of those projects sponsored solely by Democrats.
But Martinez did veto some GOP projects, including three Albuquerque projects advocated by House Majority Leader Nate Gentry.
A key aspect of the capital outlay appropriation process involves lawmakers recommending local projects on behalf of their constituents. Only a fraction of the projects make it into the bill, when legislators must choose how to allocate their share of the bond money.
The $294 million bill included $84 million for lawmaker projects, divided equally between the House and Senate, then divided equally between the lawmakers in each body. So senators each allocated $1 million of the money, while House members allocated $600,000 each.
New Mexico In Depth compared the vetoed projects to projects requested by lawmakers during the regular legislative session.
Note that it isn’t clear whether legislators actually used their allocations for the projects they initially included in their requests. How lawmakers divvy up the money isn’t revealed in the capital outlay process.
Five of the 42 projects vetoed weren’t proposed by legislators.
Martinez vetoed six projects sponsored solely by Republican lawmakers.
Four vetoed projects featured bipartisan sponsorship, with Gentry involved in three of them.
Two of those projects, both for the Albuquerque 2nd Judicial District Court, had significant bipartisan support.
Fourteen Democrats and 13 Republicans advocated for an evidence presentation system for the court, while 14 Democrats and 14 Republicans sponsored a vetoed allocation for courtroom furniture.
Meanwhile, as Martinez pointed out in her veto letter, she really doesn’t like spending bond money on musical instruments. She struck all 23 references to musical instruments in the bill, but left in references to using the money for “other equipment.”
Pottery, on the other hand, apparently isn’t on the governor’s veto list. She left five references to kilns in the bill.