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High court says governor made illegal veto

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-11 09:04 PM
Original message
High court says governor made illegal veto
SANTA FE The state Supreme Court ruled 5-0 today that Gov. Susana Martinez illegally vetoed a bill by changing the amount of money legislators approved for a housing program. Four Democrats in the Legislature sued Martinez, a Republican. They said she did not have the authority to change a $150,000 appropriation to $50,000, and the justices agreed.

Martinez could have vetoed the entire amount, but she had no authority to lower the legislative appropriation, Justice Patricio Serna said in a ruling from the bench.

If Martinez could simply set any lower amount, she could make hundreds or even thousands of changes in the budget, robbing the Legislature of its power to allocate funds, said Shane Youtz, the attorney who represented lawmakers in that case.

The Supreme Court decided not to rule immediately in a second lawsuit brought by six Democratic legislators against Martinez.

At issue in that case is whether Martinez could partially veto a bill to increase business taxes for the state's unemployment insurance fund.

Martinez let stand the Legislature's decision to reduce benefits for unemployed people. But she vetoed another section of the same bill that would have raised taxes on businesses.

Martinez has characterized her decision as a business-friendly move that save companies $128 million in taxes.

But legislators say the unemployment insurance fund will become insolvent without an increase in business contributions.

If that happens, businesses could end up paying even more to revive the fund or pay off federal loans that would be needed to save the program, said state Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque. Stewart was among the six lawmakers who sued Martinez over her veto of the business tax.

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rabs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-24-11 04:20 PM
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1. So what does this mean?

La Tejana's veto is nullified? The housing program funding approved by the legislature goes through?

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NMDemDist2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-01-11 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. i think that's correct
the legislature's amount will stand
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