Governor’s Vetoes Ruled Invalid by NM Supreme Court

Governor Susana Martinez (R-NM)

The New Mexico Supreme Court upheld a judge’s ruling that vetoes issued by Governor Martinez in 2017 were invalid, and ordered the laws to go into effect.

The bills in question were mostly noncontroversial including authorization for research of industrial hemp production and the awarding of scholarships to medical students who agree to work in underserved areas.  The Supreme Court ruling, however, clarifies that the Governor must provide some reasoning at the time of a veto before the last three days of a legislative session.  The timing and reasoning of a veto provides an opportunity for the legislature to review a bill and determine whether to pursue amendments or to attempt an override.

The Legislature took the position that the Governor’s vetoes were a political response during a contentious period during the 2017 session when it had not approved a budget or approved some of the Governor’s appointees.

Chris Balzano contributed to this report