Land Commissioner Unhappy With Governor's Veto

Mar 14, 2014


State Land Commissioner Ray Powell is objecting that Republican Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed money for a feasibility study about New Mexico buying some federal land.

Martinez eliminated $250,000 for the study from a budget bill this week using her line-item veto powers.

Powell contends that New Mexico could generate more money for education if the Land Office acquired "disposal land" from the Bureau of Land Management. He says the land could be used for grazing leases, commercial development and energy production.

Powell said Thursday that "politics as usual in Santa Fe must end."

A Martinez spokesman said the governor understands the importance of the land acquisition issue, but thought the study was too expensive and the Land Office could pay for it rather than using the state's main budget account.

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