Regional
10:51 am
Wed May 25, 2011

Lawmakers Fight Martinez Veto

New Mexico – Lawmakers are going to court to challenge line-item vetoes by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez, including her rejection of higher taxes on businesses to shore up the state's unemployment compensation fund.

At issue are constitutional questions about the powers of the governor and Legislature.

Democratic Rep. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque says two lawsuits are to be filed Wednesday with the state Supreme Court.

The governor vetoed a tax increase on businesses but left provisions in the same bill to reduce jobless benefits.

A line-item veto is allowed only with an appropriation bill, and lawmakers say the unemployment bill didn't allocate money for programs.

The other disputed veto changed an appropriation in a budget bill from $150,000 to $50,000 for an agency that finances low-income housing.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.