New Mexico State Court Agrees To Consider Veto Challenges

Jun 16, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A New Mexico state district court will consider whether 10 bills vetoed by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez this year should become law anyway because the governor allegedly failed to explain her decisions, a judge decided Friday.

Credit Office of the Governor

A Democratic-led panel of legislators said Martinez did not adequately explain her objections to the bills in writing as required by the state Constitution.

Leading lawmaker including House Speaker Brian Egolf and Senate Majority leader Peter Wirth say the written explanations are crucial to the legislative process, and want the court to invalidate the vetoes and allow the bills to become law.

State district court Judge Sarah Singleton on Friday directed attorneys for the governor to file a response and prepare for hearings. Martinez has insisted the vetoes are valid.

The vetoed bills include measures to allow high school students to count their computer science classes toward core math credits needed for graduation and open the way for research program for industrial hemp.

The legal clash follows a drawn-out feud between the Republican governor and the Democratic-controlled Legislature over how to address a state budget crisis. It was resolved during a special legislative session in May.

Amid the budget wrangling, lawmakers unsuccessfully petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn vetoes that threatened to defund all state colleges and the Legislature itself.