SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – There are mixed reviews after Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham reportedly spent thousands of her discretionary funds on groceries. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports during the second half of 2020, the governor racked up more than $6,000 on groceries.
Receipts show items like wagyu beef and tuna steaks and several big purchases of alcohol. A governor’s spokesman told the New Mexican the groceries were used to serve meals to staff.
However, the expenses have drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers who say the governor is misusing the funds and sending the wrong message as people are not supposed to be gathering in large groups during the pandemic.
The money used comes from the contingency fund approved by the legislature. It’s a small state budget given to New Mexico governors to be used for events or meetings pertaining to state business.
According to the Santa Fe New Mexican, this is the first time a governor has been transparent about how the money is spent. It’s in part to Lujan Grisham’s predecessor, Republican Governor Susana Martinez.
Martinez never disclosed how she spent the money until after she tapped into the fund to pay for a now infamous holiday party at the Eldorado Hotel that involved the police. Lawmakers then approved a bill that overhauled how the money is overseen.