NM Senate Democrats
Contact: Isaac Padilla 505/264-6512
September 30, 2016
House Republicans Ignore Budget Crisis on Day 1 of Special Session
Putting New Mexico Families & Children in Jeopardy
(Santa Fe, NM) – Despite New Mexico facing a $600 million budget crisis so severe that it required Governor Susana Martinez to call an emergency meeting of the Legislature, the House Republican majority today failed to introduce even one bill addressing this fiscal year’s shortfall. The state will soon run out of money if lawmakers do not fix the problem, and the ostensible purpose of the $54,000 per day special session is to deal with that fact. Nonetheless, the Governor and her House Republican allies have decided to focus on purely political moves to reinstate the death penalty and other divisive matters that distract from the work at hand.
“It is irresponsible that Gov. Martinez and House Republican legislators are now pushing highly controversial crime policies instead of dealing with our massive budget deficit. The people of our state need us to fix the state’s serious money problems before addressing any other issues, especially with the regular legislative session only three short months away. Now is not the time to add further debt and stress to an already struggling judicial system,” said Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla.
The whole point of the Governor calling a special session appears to be for the purpose of empowering Republican PACs to broadcast TV and radio ads, and direct mail attacking Democrats running for Legislature in November.
The Governor is pushing reinstatement of the death penalty in the brief special legislative session, even though she has barely mentioned the policy in six years in office. As the District Attorney prosecutor in Dona Ana County for many years, Martinez never once sought the death penalty in a murder case, even though several were eligible.
“If the goal is lessening crime in New Mexico, then we should be talking about more staff and resources for mental health services, law enforcement, childcare, our judicial system, and child protective services that prevent future tragedies. One of the most important things we can do to protect kids is solve this budget crisis now, to make sure that we fund police, CYFD child protection and our courts. That is why we hurried to Santa Fe with only 24-hour notice given by the Governor. It is cynical, it makes no sense, and is an improper use of taxpayer dollars to consider any issues besides the budget crisis our state is facing,” added Senator John Arthur Smith.