Governor vetoes pay raise for elected officials | KOB 4
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Governor vetoes pay raise for elected officials

J.R. Oppenheim
February 28, 2018 07:22 PM

SANTA FE, N.M. -- New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed a bill that would have given a 10 percent increase in salary to elected officials, including her successor.

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Martinez's office announced Wednesday she rejected Senate Bill 176. It would have boosted pay for governor, attorney general, secretary of state and other statewide officials, along with those on the Public Regulation Commission.

The pay hike would have cost the state $108,500 a year, the governor's office said. Martinez's current salary is $110,000, according to the Associated Press, while Attorney General Hector Balderas makes $95,000 a year and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver makes $85,000.

"Through a relentless commitment to responsible stewardship of taxpayer dollars – like balancing budgets and cutting taxes – New Mexico has a budget surplus of hundreds of millions of dollars," Martinez said. "I will not waste a dime of it on doling out taxpayer dollars on pay raises for politicians."

Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, sponsored SB 176.

However, Martinez did sign a series of bills into law benefitting servicemen and women, veterans and their families, including an eligibility expansion for the Family Assistance Program and prohibiting "stolen valor" for personal gain. Stolen valor is making false claims about military service or honors.

The bills also allow siblings to buy gold-star family license plates along with parents, spouses, children, stepparents and stepchildren; and speeding up the teaching licensure process for out-of-state active duty military, veterans and spouses.

"One of my priorities is protecting those who put their lives on the line for our freedom," Martinez said. "By signing these bills into law I want to recognize the hard work and dedication of all the brave men and women who serve our state and nation in the U.S. Armed Forces."

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J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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