SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – House Republican leadership met with Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Friday to talk about COVID-19 pandemic relief funding. Despite the meeting, the House GOP is still calling for an extraordinary special session to decides what to do with $1.75 billion in federal funding.
A bill approved by the legislation on how to allocate the funds was vetoed by the governor. The governor says that’s the executive branch’s job. House Republican Leader Jim Townsend released the following statement:
“While we agree that there is incredible need to distribute the $1.75 billion in federal assistance to help New Mexico recover from the pandemic, we disagree that the Governor has unilateral authority to expend these funds. We continue to advocate for an Extraordinary Legislative Session that will allow lawmakers to effectively advocate for their communities instead of allowing the executive to pick and choose where the funds are distributed. We are talking about an amount of money that equals one-third of our state’s operating budget and we will continue to explore all of our possible options, including the calling of an Extraordinary Legislative Session, to ensure the constitutional authority of the Legislature is respected. We look forward to hearing back from our fellow lawmakers in their support to convene in an Extraordinary Session to restore transparency and ensure that every New Mexico community has a seat at the table in equitably allocating billions of dollars in relief.”