New Mexico Supreme Court agrees to hear state budget dispute

New Mexico Supreme Court
New Mexico Supreme Court

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The New Mexico Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit by the state Legislature that accuses Republican Gov. Susana Martinez of overstepping her authority by vetoing funding to the state Legislature and all state universities and colleges.

The court on Monday ordered the governor to respond to a lawsuit from the Democratic-led Legislature. The order schedules oral arguments for May 15 in the feud over state budget shortfalls and proposed tax increases.

Lawmakers have sent Martinez a $6.1 billion budget package that would slightly boost spending and included several tax increases – tax hikes that Martinez rejected.

The governor wants lawmakers to return for a special session to revise the budget for the coming fiscal year. The Supreme Court also is asking university presidents to submit court briefings.