SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE)- Tensions are high at the Roundhouse, after Governor Susana Martinez vetoed the Senate’s feed bill late Friday evening. The bill determines how to pay for the legislative session.
“It’s basically back to square one again because of the Governor’s actions,” said Senator Michael Padilla. The Senate Majority Whip said he’s concerned over Governor Martinez veto of Senate Bill 176.
“We chose to pass a feed bill that addressed a massive crisis in the Judiciary here in New Mexico,” said Padilla. He said Senate Bill 176 added two new components that would have provided emergency funding to the courts, even help to the elderly community.
“By the Governor vetoing this particular piece of legislation, we won’t be able to keep our courts open, we won’t be able to pay jurys,” said Padilla.
The House of Representatives had already created House Bill 1. House Minority Leader Nate Gentry said it would cut legislature funding. “We cut the legislatures budget, we wanted to share in the pain that the rest of the state government is experiencing,” said Nate Gentry.
He said the Governor was right to veto the bill, if it meant giving the legislature more money. “It seems to be an attempt to hide an increase in their budget, when the rest of the state is experiencing a real budget crunch,” said Gentry.
Senator Padilla said the veto prevents people from getting paid. “It’s very hard to find hard working, highly qualified people that are willing to work for 60 days which is how long this session is going to last, and now the Governor doesn’t even want to pay them,” he said.
But Gentry is pointing the finger at the Senate, for not passing House Bill 1. “If there’s an urgency, it’s one the Senate has created through their inaction,” said Gentry.
Padilla said he’s hoping the Governor will change her mind, “I think that the Governor needs to take heed and actually sign the bill, come to the table, work with us, we definitely want to work with you.”
Gentry said the problems will be solved if the Senate passes House Bill 1. A spokesperson for the Governor’s Office told News 13, she vetoed the bill because she found it completely unacceptable especially when in constitutional budget crisis.
Gentry said the Senate can take as long as they want to make a decision on House Bill 1.