Dozens of bills awaiting governor’s signature

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Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:11 am, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

With a Friday deadline looming for her to act on legislation passed by the 2013 Legislature, Gov. Susana Martinez still has scores of bills on her desk, including the budget bill (which includes a 1 percent pay raise for state workers), a bill aimed at closing the deficit in the state employee pension system and a capital outlay bill that contains millions of dollars worth of projects.

Martinez also has yet to act on the big tax bill, passed in the final seconds of the legislative session, which includes a 22 percent tax cut for corporations — though she has said that she will sign it.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • kikimtz posted at 2:07 pm on Thu, Apr 4, 2013.

    kikimtz Posts: 15

    I don't understand how Gov. Martinez expects a 1% pay raise after 5 years of no raises to help state employees at all. With employees constantly facing increaes to PERA and insurances they have actually been hit with cuts in pay for the last 5 years when you do the math. She was once a state employee herself and probably had a pretty decent income coming in and now has an income of over $100 grand a year - she definitely seems to be forgetting the "lttle people". There are many state employees who have been forgotten amongst the polictical favors, cliques and other means that certain state employees manage to get nice pay raises through - in spite of constant claims that "there's no money in the budget". An audit should be conducted to see which state employees have received raises in the last 5 years and what percentage those raises were. Those employees should be excluded from receiving any current pay raise and the employees who haven't received a raise in the last 5 years should be getting way more than 1% to be brought up to date of inflation on all counts. Come on Gov. Martinez - show some support for the little guys just trying to survive!!

  • Pam Walker posted at 7:59 am on Thu, Apr 4, 2013.

    lilbit Posts: 68

    I will never understand why we can fund gyms and renovations when we can't fund retirement accounts. The annual COLA doesn't even cover the raise in healthcare costs and now you are reducing that even farther. We have worked all our lives and are now to old to be hired by anyone. What are we supposed to do with our checks not keeping up with the raise in everything else. Its not like we made huge amounts of money when we worked for the state.


Key issues facing lawmakers


Backdrop: New Mexico gained only 1,700 jobs during the past year ending in November. That's a growth rate of 0.2 percent and the lowest in the region. New Mexcio's unemployment rate was 6.4 percent in November compared with 6.7 percent a year earlier.

Proposals: Gov. Susana Martinez proposed expanding programs that can help bring nurses, dentists and other medical providers to rural areas. She also wants to provide $7.5 million for an endowment fund to attract top porfessors and researchers at colleges and universities. The governor recommends broadening tax incentivies to encourage startup companies as well as research and development. Democrats are pushing to increase the stat's minimum wage, which has been $7.50 an hour since 2009. Some lawmakers want automatic cost-of-living increases in the wage rate.


Backdrop: The current state budget is $5.9 billion, and revenues are expected to reach nearly $6.2 billion in the fiscal year starting in July. That provides about $239 million in "new money" for lawmakers and the governor for budget increases and to offset tax cuts. The state has cash reserves of more than $500 million, but that could shrink because of accounting discrepancies stretching back more than six years.

Proposals: Martinez has recommended a 3 percent budget increase compared with about 4 percent proposed by the Legislative Finance Committee. Martinez proposes targeted increases for hard-to-fill jobs such as state police. But the legislative panel advocates across-the-board raises for all state agency workers and educators, with higher amounts for those in certain jobs, including judges, state police and social workers.


Backdrop: About $600 million in bond financing is available for capital improvement projects. Some of that goes for specific purposes, including public schools and projects on tribal lands. However, much of the financing will be divvied up for new projects. 

Proposals: Martinez proposes earmarking about $112 million in bond proceeds for water projects across the state. The governor also recommends creatinga  new fund that can provide emergency assistance to communities with drinking water problems. The Legislative Finance Committee has recommended $10 million in bond financing for highway maintenance and $6 million for a road to the state's spaceport.


Backdrop: Public schools, colleges and universities get nearly $3 out of every $5 in the operating budget. The high school graduation rate was 70 percent in the last school year, and nearly half of graduates enrolling in state colleges in 2011 and 2012 required remedial courses.

Proposals: Martinez will renew a proposal to require schools to hold back third-graders who can't read proficiently. Some Democrats and a coalition of social advocacy groups want to earmark part of the yearly payout from a state permanent fund to provide more money for early-childhood education. Lawmakers also will consider ways to shore up a lottery-financed college scholarship program. Some proposals would change the program to make the aid need-based and provide a flat dollar amount for scholarships. 

The Associated Press

Session dates - 2014

• December 16, 2013 - January 17 Legislation may be prefiled

• January 21 Opening day (noon)

• February 5 Deadline for introduction

• February 20 Session ends (noon)

• March 12 Legislation not acted upon by governor is pocket vetoed

• May 21 Effective date of legislation not a general appropriation bill or a bill carrying an emergency clause or other specified date

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