Commentary: ALBUQUERQUE—James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding several vetoes issued by Governor Susana Martinez:
“Governor Martinez’s outdated ‘no new taxes’ political pledge has resulted in the worst economy in our state in decades. Because of her political ideology, New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the country; young New Mexicans are fleeing the state in search of jobs; and schools are dangerously underfunded.
“The Legislature passed a forward-thinking budget with revenue to fund critical services. We applaud them for their hard work and express extreme disappointment in several of the Governor’s vetoes. SB 175 would have brought additional federal funds into the state to expand an effective child abuse prevention program. HB 202 would have leveled the playing field for our home-grown businesses and raised much-needed funds to support critical services like education, health care, and public safety. The Governor also vetoed bills that would have helped working families such as the minimum wage increase and leave for caregivers.
“The budget ‘options’ she refers to in her message includes lowering the take-home pay of teachers and other state employees, most of whom have not had a raise in years. The Legislature passed numerous bills that would have moved New Mexico’s economy forward, but the Governor’s vetoes indicate that she is content to continue to hold the state back.”