Leading Democrats in the state House and Senate have not yet decided whether to call for an extraordinary session to consider whether to override Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s veto last week of a more than $50 million spending measure.

Democratic lawmakers met behind closed doors for more than two hours Tuesday night to discuss possible options for addressing the veto. But they did not come up with a solution, said Chris Nordstrum, a spokesman for Senate Democrats.

He said after the meeting he was “not sure” there would be more caucus meetings about the issue.

He wrote in an email, “This is a complex issue. Senate Democrats are continuing our discussions with the House Democrats and the Governor to find a solution.”

At stake is $50.4 million for a number of initiatives across the state, including senior center programs, children’s behavioral health services and increased court staffing.

Lawmakers in both major parties have discussed calling an extraordinary session to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 48, commonly known as the “junior bill.”

In a message to lawmakers, Lujan Grisham said the bill circumvents the usual budget and capital outlay vetting process and she was “unconvinced” the allocations for various projects uphold “principles of fiscal responsibility.”

In some cases, Lujan Grisham wrote, projects were not fully funded.

To convene an extraordinary session, which is intended to address emergencies, three-fifths of lawmakers in each chamber of the Legislature have to sign on to the plan.

If enough members vote in favor of the session, the governor is mandated to convene the Legislature within five days of its vote, excluding Sundays. If the governor fails to do so, the Legislature may convene itself.

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has covered education and youth issues for the Santa Fe New Mexican. He is assigned to The New Mexican's city desk where he covers a general assignment beat.

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