Republicans upset with governor’s vetoes

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Some Republicans aren’t happy with the governor using her veto authority.

In the state budget, the governor line-item vetoed lawmakers’ attempt to set aside federal pandemic relief funding for, among other things, the state’s unemployment fund.

A spokesperson for the governor said she is waiting for more guidance from state officials about how to direct funds, noting some of the money could eventually go to the unemployment fund.

"Once that guidance is received, the state will allocate those funds to effective and appropriate use, hopefully with some aspects being analogous to what the legislature had in mind," the spokesperson said.

Republicans aren’t satisfied with that answer.

"The governor really chose to take the power away from lawmakers in an effort to allow her own spending without legislative oversight," said Sen. Crystal Diamond of Dona Ana County. "I feel that the governor’s actions, by doing this, she’s made it known to the legislature that we are no longer an equal branch of government."

The governor also vetoed a bipartisan effort that would have provided funds to build a new health care facility in Valencia County.

A spokesperson for the governor said voters did not approve the funds for that purpose. The spokesperson added that lawmakers cannot redirect the funds.

A Republican senator, who represent the area, disagrees.

"I just can’t figure out a reason why she doesn’t want a health care facility paid by the residents in Valencia County to be built, or at least have a chance to be built," said Sen. Greg Baca.

Friday was the deadline to sign items from the 2021 regular legislative session. The governor still has about two more weeks two sign items from the special session.