Nachison: Governor Martinez, Please Be Serious

Apr 7, 2017

Credit Office of the Governor
  Commentary: Our governor cannot really be serious.  Vetoing the Higher Education departmental budget to force a special session because lack of hearings for her proposed appointees makes it necessary?   She must want all the publicity for solving the mess she alone created.  She says “In the coming weeks, I will call the Legislature back to Santa Fe to finish the job they were supposed to do in the first place.”   Um, they did do their job.  She did not.

Sorry madame.   'My way or the highway' is not an answer.   Meeting with the leaders of both legislative houses before a ‘special session’ will solve little.  I expect you’d like them come out with “your” compromise, without involving all elected representatives except for a “yes” vote.   Such a procedure leaves we the people without a real voice and does not help most New Mexicans.    Why some $350 million in line-item vetoes when the estimated deficit is less that one-half that?  Just to make a point?  As a supposed model for this action, a Mr. Bannon “lite” comes to mind.   I thought NM's governor had better sense.

This is a case of the huge “underwater” budget portion flipped over to sink the whole iceberg - and our legislative process.   We see an elephant trying to crush those in the room (no pun intended).  There are also many “visible iceberg tips" the governor vetoed, e.g:   Support for pregnant worker accommodations in the workplace - some business owners are known to be cruel;  restoring school reserves - schools don’t need them;  keeping guns out of the hands of those with a mental illness - an NRA priority.  Did I mention taxes?  No tax increases on gasoline or diesel, closing some loopholes in the gross receipts tax nor incorporating an internet sales tax.  This list is very incomplete.

Fixing the economy by not dealing with our schools and job training both public and private, nor beefing up the state economic development department to offer real incentives beyond just more tax breaks, are major problems.   We can always argue about whether NM has too many higher education facilities or not, or whether low taxes on the rich and corporations are good, or is gun safety necessary among other things.  Cutting higher education overall?  Only UNM and NMMT make the national 200 (USNews and World Report).  Can NM youngsters read, write, solve non-traditional problems and understand the meaning of “we” in a community?  It's sad Las Cruces needs to establish its own economic development department.  Certainly useful, but needed because the state fails?   We are all, not just Cruces, better than this.

"The fundamental that the country belongs to the people, that it is in process of making for the enrichment of the lives of all of us.”  FDR