ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez signaled Friday she may add “more items” to a looming special session on the state’s budget crisis amid a partisan stalemate with Democrats.
Martinez spokesman Mike Lonergan said the Republican governor may seek to place more legislative proposals on the special session docket if Senate Democrats keep pushing for a long session.
“Since it looks like the Senate Democrats don’t want to work on a budget solution in advance, that will mean a much longer session and it would make sense to include more items,” Lonergan said. “That has yet to be determined, but if the Senate Democrats are going to spend $50,000 a day on a lengthy session, then the public deserves to have key issues addressed.”
But Lonergan did not say what legislative items Martinez would include.
Jim Farrell, a spokesman for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, said Senate Democrats would not respond to the governor’s latest suggestion.
Debra Haalnd, chairwoman of the Democratic Party of New Mexico, said Martinez “is trying to distract the public from her terrible economic record and she’s playing games with the state’s budget.”
Haalnd said the governor “ruined our economy with tax breaks for corporations, line item vetoes through job creating infrastructure projects, and five years of wasted energy on a political agenda instead of investing in our economy.”
In recent weeks, the Republican governor has called for the return of the death penalty in New Mexico and has repeated her demand for stronger anti-drunken driving penalties.
Martinez and Senate Democrats have been publicly battling over the details of a special session to address a nearly quarter-billion-dollar shortfall from the last fiscal year and an estimated $458 million hole for the fiscal year that started in July.
Democratic New Mexico lawmakers said Martinez hasn’t offered a plan to fill the state’s budget hole.
But Martinez has promised to call a special legislative session only after lawmakers have concrete proposals.