Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2011, 12:56 PM MDT
Published : Wednesday, 25 May 2011, 5:34 PM MDT
(KRQE) Santa Fe - Democratic lawmakers believe the governor broke the rules again and they're taking her to court because of it.
On Wednesday Democratic legislators Mimi Stewart, Kiki Saavedra, John Arthur Smith and Luciano "Lucky" Varela slapped the governor with two lawsuits over her line-item vetoes in an unemployment bill and a housing bill.
The unemployment bill would have required businesses to pay more into unemployment benefits. The governor chose to take out the line that specifies the amount. Lawmakers argue she can't do that because it's not an appropriations bill.
The second bill allocated $150,000 to the Mortgage Finance Authority. The governor knocked out the "1" leaving $50,000. Lawmakers argue she can either veto or sign this bill, but can't change the amount.
Varela says he doesn't recall a governor ever doing this to a bill saying they need to challenge her actions now rather than later.
"What would happen if she starts vetoing appropriations numbers everywhere?" he said.
The Republican governor defended her actions.
"You know it's interesting," she said. "It's the same kind of line-item veto that (former Gov.) Bill Richardson did with the food tax. He line-item vetoed the appropriation, and it was fine. It wasn't challenged. I think it's interesting to see the same behavior being treated differently."
This is the third lawsuit the governor has faced since taking office. One was filed by environmental groups trying to keep Martinez from delaying the publication of certain pollution rules. The other suit was a response to her removal of the members of The Public Employee Relations Board.
The state Supreme Court ruled against her in both cases.