Some lawmakers insisted during the recent special session that the Legislature shouldn’t tweak a bill to defund infrastructure and other projects around the state. They feared allowing even one exemption would open the door to more and could unravel the bill, which saves the state nearly $90 million.
On Friday, with the session over, Gov. Susana Martinez picked a handful of projects to spare from the cuts approved by the Legislature. Using her line item veto power, here’s what Martinez saved when she signed Senate Bill 8, which defunds dozens of other projects:
- $587,500 to “plan, design, renovate, construct, equip and furnish the permanent museum” at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
- $564,000 to “plan, design, construct, equip and furnish an information and welcome center” at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque.
- $400,000 to “plan, design and construct phase 2 drainage improvements for flood control” on Alberta Road in Rio Rancho.
- $100,000 to “purchase and install street lights” along Trumbell Avenue and San Pedro Drive in southeast Albuquerque.
Martinez gave no explanation for her line-item vetoes in her message informing the Legislature about her action.
You can find a list of projects the bill defunds and more about the legislation here.
The legislation was part of a package of bills aimed at plugging a shortfall of several hundred million dollars in the state budget.