New Mexico Supreme Court agrees to hear state budget dispute
The New Mexico Supreme Court agreed Monday to hear a lawsuit that accuses the governor of overstepping her authority by vetoing funding to the Legislature along with state universities and colleges.
Republican Gov. Susana Martinez was ordered to respond to a petition from the Democratic-led Legislature that says her line-item vetoes would “effectively abolish” state institutions of higher education and upset the balance of power between branches of government.
Oral arguments were scheduled May 15 in the extraordinary legal challenge that springs from an escalating feud over how to resolve the state’s financial crisis.
Lawmakers sent Martinez a $6.1 billion budget package in March that would boost spending slightly and include several tax increases.
Martinez rejected the tax hikes and issued line-item vetoes that defunded the Legislature and cut $745 million in annual general fund spending to state universities, community colleges and specialty schools.