April 10, 2017

Martinez continues criticism of Legislature

Gov. Susana Martinez during the 2016 State of the State Address. Photo Credit: Andy Lyman.

Gov. Susana Martinez continued her criticism of the state Legislature in a brief press conference Monday in Las Cruces.

Martinez appeared with Rep. Rick Little, R-Chaparral, and praised his work during the legislative session while at the same time criticizing the Legislature as a whole and the Senate specifically.

Martinez echoed her previous criticisms of legislation that would have raised some taxes.

“Raising taxes to bail out big government while punishing the families of New Mexico is not the right answer. Or raising taxes on small businesses is not the right answer,” Martinez said. “That’s not how we present a balanced budget.”

Martinez also repeated that furloughs of state employees could begin “as early as this month” and that a government shutdown would result in the closure of state parks, state museums and Motor Vehicle Division offices.

She has yet to announce a date for the special session, where legislators would iron out another budget and fix higher education funding—which Martinez vetoed in its entirety, along with the entire legislative budget. Martinez has said that was necessary to balance the budget.

That special session is estimated to cost $50,000 per day.

“There will be time in the special session to fix the higher education budget and the rest of the flawed budget they sent to us,” Martinez said.

Martinez has said she hopes to have a deal in place before going into a special session. Open government groups like the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government have criticized making such deals behind closed doors.