New Mexico governor prepares to defend of sweeping vetoes

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Time is running out for New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to submit a legal defense of her decision to defund the Legislature and all state universities and colleges.

Martinez has until the end of Friday to respond to an accusation she overstepped her constitutional authority by vetoing funding for the Legislature and all institutions of higher education starting July 1.

The New Mexico Supreme Court is weighing a request to rescind the vetoes. The GOP governor and Democratic-led Legislature are locked in a standoff over how to resolve the state’s budget crisis.

Martinez has rejected proposed tax and fee increases from lawmakers and favors further government belt-tightening. She plans to call lawmakers back for a special session to fix a budget shortfall linked to energy prices and economic malaise.