Martinez Hold On Capital Projects Disputed By Attorney General

Nov 25, 2013

Attorney General Gary King says Gov. Susana Martinez can't unilaterally withhold money for legislatively approved capital improvements as her administration has done.

However, Finance and Administration Secretary Tom Clifford said Monday the administration disagrees with the attorney general and will continue requiring local governments, school districts and others to have a current audit before state money is released for a project.

The administration implemented the policy in May with an executive order and later suspended more than $13 million for 122 capital projects.

King issued a non-binding legal opinion to legislators on Friday that concluded the executive order is invalid because the Legislature didn't authorize the restrictions on capital project financing.

King's office said the governor was attempting to make law in violation of the constitutional separation of powers.

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