SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham vetoed a bill that would have allowed Valencia County to build a 24-hour emergency health care facility. It’s a project community leaders have been trying to get off the ground for years to fill a gap in the county’s medical services.
The county already has $26 billion in tax dollars set aside, but the governor argues the project is not what voters approved the money for. Representative Kelly Fajardo says that red tape has been one of the project’s roadblocks. Since technically, voters approved a hospital, which comes with different requirements than an emergency facility.
Fajardo says this bill was meant to fix that. “If you’re to look at the definition of a hospital, and what that entails, I can tell you that’s not what the voters wanted, the voters wanted medical services. They wanted emergency medical care,” said Rep. Fajardo. “If you talk to anybody in Valencia County, they’re going to tell you we need a place to go if something happens.”
Before the governor vetoed the bill, it passed unanimously in the legislature.