And, in a statement to New Mexico Capitol Report, Martinez hints that the “Breaking Bad bill” that sailed through the Legislature could also face her veto pen.
The House voted Wednesday on partisan lines (only Rep. Sandra Jeff, D-Shiprock, crossed party lines) to concur with Senate changes to the budget. Up to that point, the budget had a relatively smooth passage — only a contingent of progressive Democrats voted against its initial pass through the House.
But Gov. Susana Martinez says she’ll still veto the $5.9 billion proposal to fund state government next fiscal year setting up a standoff between lawmakers and the administration.
The fight centers around amendments the Senate made to a budget that had bipartisan support in the House.
As New Mexico Telegram wrote, the dispute centers less than $5 million of a nearly $5.9 billion budget. K-12 education itself makes up just over $2.5 billion of the budget.
Martinez’s administration says it was more than just this. Again from KRQE:
“They didn’t fund (the Local Economic Development Act) in order to bring companies to New Mexico, JTIP, which is job training, our economic development plan has also been cut drastically,” Martinez said. “So it is over all the budget, and they voted today not to sit down and negotiate on that budget.”
The initial House budget included $3 million to fund merit pay for teachers. The Senate version amended this to $2 million in stipends for teachers who moved from top-performing schools to lower performing schools.
New Mexico Telegram sent a request for comment to a spokesman of the governor on the budget but received no response.
Milan Simonich at NM Capitol Report did receive this response:
“I’m very disappointed in the lack of compromise by the other party, and by the unbalanced approach to our state budget taken by many lawmakers,” she said. “While the Democrats want me to agree to pay increases for government employees and larger subsidies for Hollywood corporations, they have refused to pass meaningful education reforms to improve student achievement, and they have refused to lower taxes to make New Mexico more competitive to help businesses grow and to create more jobs.”
An omnibus tax bill had a smaller corporate income tax cut than Martinez had wanted.
With just three days left in the session, this means that a special session is likely.
The unexpected hurdle came after the state Senate voted unanimously to pass the budget — including every Republican member of the chamber.
The one piece of legislation that is absolutely necessary for the legislature to pass — it is constitutionally mandated that New Mexico pass a balanced budget each year.
John Yeager of the Legislative Council Service told the Santa Fe New Mexican in 2011 that past special sessions have cost anywhere from $28,000 to $65,000 per day.