Governor’s directive upsets lawmakers

Governor Martinez signs $6B state budget

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Gov. Susana Martinez has clamped down on the Legislature’s watchdog committees in what lawmakers consider an attempt to limit their oversight of the Republican governor’s agencies.

Administration agencies are telling the Legislative Finance Committee and the Legislative Education Study Committee their requests for information must go to the governor’s chief of staff to be approved before information will be provided.

The committees typically contact agencies directly to seek data and documents.

LFC Chairman Rep. Luciano “Lucky” Varela of Santa Fe says the governor is “drawing the battle lines.”

House Republican Leader Donald Bratton of Hobbs says the new policy could create a bottleneck for getting information.

Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan says administration agencies will “continue to provide requested information to the Legislature consistent with state law.”

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