Politics - Governement

Governor Martinez signs $6.3 billion budget

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) - Gov. Susana Martinez has acted on legislation that was passed during the 30-day session and has signed the $6.3 billion budget into law.

Gov. Martinez focused on public safety, education and economy. The governor also said she feels lawmakers delivered on the first two, but not on the economy.  

"I wish lawmakers would have invested more money into critical tools like LIDA and JTIP. These are the economic development tools that are bringing companies like Facebook, PreCheck and so many more to New Mexico," said Gov. Martinez.

She also wasn't pleased with the capital outlay bill legislators sent her slamming what she called "pork projects." For example, she line-item vetoed a quarter of a million dollars for a robotic dinosaur. 

When it came to the budget bill, she made several line-item vetoes. However, it was not to the extent that she did last year when she caused a frenzy by removing higher education funding, which eventually led to a Special Session. 

Overall it was an amicable session between parties this time around which was likely due to a budget surplus. 

Wednesday, the governor touted bipartisan crime-fighting efforts like putting $3.6 million toward salary increase for New Mexico State Police and extra funding for the back-logged Bernalillo County District Attorney's Office. 

"We see it here in the metro area, all that's happened in crime. So that was extremely important to me, that first people have to feel safe. They can't be going to the grocery store and rushing through the grocery store because they're afraid their vehicle won't be there," said Gov. Martinez. 

State workers and teachers will also see pay increases. The budget also directs nearly $3 billion to New Mexico schools. 

In addition, money was put back into the state's cash reserves which were tapped into last year during the budget shortfall.

Gov. Martinez once again said she feels that she's passing on a balanced budget to the next governor, who takes office Jan. 1.

Bills the governor didn't act on before noon Wednesday get pocket vetoed, which means they die without requiring an explanation from her. 


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