September 28, 2017

Ten bills Martinez invalidly vetoed become law

Andy Lyman

Susana Martinez during the 2016 State of the State Address.

Ten bills invalidly vetoed by Gov. Susana Martinez are now law.

A judge declined Martinez’s effort to keep the bills from becoming law while they appealed a previous decision against Martinez.

And shortly thereafter Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced she chaptered those ten bills into law (all ten are listed below).

“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,” Toulouse Oliver said in a statement.

This is a breaking news story and reactions will be added as we receive them.

A spokesman for the governor said they would appeal.

“There’s no question the Governor vetoed these bills. Like we’ve said all along, this is the latest example of Santa Fe politicians wasting time and taxpayer money going to court when they don’t get what they want,” Michael Lonergan said in a statement. “We’re going to appeal, and we hope the courts will recognize that there are still three branches of government.”

The bills include the legalization of industrial hemp for research purposes at New Mexico State University as well as allowing a computer science class to count toward math requirements for high school graduation.

First Judicial District Court Judge Sarah Singleton found there would be no irreparable harm that would necessitate a stay.

“The possible harms are no different than what may occur when laws are repealed or amended in subsequent legislative sessions or when a court finds a statute unconstitutional after its implementation,” Singleton wrote.

The bills Singleton ruled improperly vetoed were split into two categories. In the first, Martinez vetoed the legislation within the constitutionally-allowed three-day period but provided no explanation of her “objections” as required by the state constitution. In the other, Martinez vetoed five bills on the same day she received them but did not explain her objections. The governor later sent “a blanket statement concerning all ten bills without a specific objection on any bills” according to the Legislature.

“This is a win for every New Mexico kid and the future of our state’s economy. This legislation opens the door to computer science education for high schoolers across the state, giving them the tools to compete in a 21st century, new collar economy. I’m glad it is finally the law of the land,” Senator Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, said. Candelaria sponsored the bill along with Rep. Debra M. Sariñana, D-Albuquerque.

Update: Added quote from Sen. Jacob Candelaria.

Update 2: Added statement from Michael Lonergan.

The ten bills in question:

  • HB 126, Financial Assistance For Medical Students
  • HB 144, Industrial Hemp Research Rules
  • SB 6, Industrial Hemp Research Rules
  • SB 24, Local Gov’t Broadband Infrastructure
  • SB 64, Public School Capital Outlay Time Periods
  • SB 67, Notification Of TIDD To County Treasurers
  • SB 134, Computer Science For School Graduation
  • SB 184, Horse Racing Licenses, Health & Testing
  • SB 222, “Local Public Body” Exemption
  • SB 356, Notification Of Public Improvement Districts

  Singleton denying stay for vetoed bills by New Mexico Political Report on Scribd