Governor Opts for Dangerous Fiscal Footing
Line Item Vetoes Threaten a Second Downgrade of State’s Bond Rating
Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, Governor Susana Martinez line item vetoed approximately $26 million in cuts from Senate Bill 113, one of three constitutionally required solvency bills to put New Mexico on solid financial footing for Fiscal Year 2017. The Governor’s vetoes drop New Mexico’s reserve balances to approximately 1% putting the state’s bond rating at risk of being downgraded a second time. Bond rating downgrades increase borrowing costs for basic government services adding millions of dollars in extra interest payments, meaning less money for critical investments like roads, schools and infrastructure.
"These line-item vetoes from the Governor have put us right back where we started - on shaky economic ground. If our bond-rating is downgraded for a second time on her watch, it will guarantee that our taxpayers will get less infrastructure for their hard-earned dollars. The costs do not end there — we will face higher interest rates, another needless drain on our state’s bottom line,” stated Representative Patty Lundstrom (D-Gallup), Chair of the House Appropriations Finance Committee.
Senate Bill 113 is one of three solvency bills passed by both chambers of the legislature to bridge the projected $69 million budget gap. The Democratic-led legislature is ready to move forward with legislation that will create jobs and opportunity for hardworking New Mexicans.