The Latest: New Mexico governor vetoes parole bill

April 5, 2019
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham describes her decision to veto 28 bills out of hundreds approved by the Legislature this year in Santa Fe, N.M., Friday, April 5, 2019. The governor has endorsed sweeping public education reforms and pay increases for public school teachers and state employees. Also Friday, the governor appointed a new leadership team for State Police in the wake of a scandal over charges of discrimination, retaliation and lewd behavior against a police chief under the previous administration. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on bills signed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (all times local):

4:25 p.m.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has vetoed a bill that called for changing New Mexico’s rules of probation and parole.

In her message to lawmakers, the Democratic governor said while the legislation was built upon “sound policy considerations,” it’s critical that all stakeholders participate in the discussion about criminal justice reform.

She was referring to concerns that had been raised by the state attorney general’s office and district attorneys after the bill was passed.

She says being tough on crime is not inconsistent with being smart on crime and that state government needs to be both.

Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas said he will work over the next year with prosecutors and other stakeholders to craft a better bill. The Albuquerque Democrat says he believes reforms will improve public safety and reduce recidivism rates


3:40 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham says she has vetoed 28 bills out over more than 300 approved by the Legislature.

The governor said Friday that she read every line of every bill from the Legislature and has made an effort to explain objections in writing.

The governor vetoed a bill that would have raised her own salary by 15% along with other statewide elected officials and utility regulators. Lujan Grisham says she is uncomfortable signing pay raises for current officeholders but is willing to consider pay raises that take effect later. Her current salary is $110,000.

Lujan Grisham vetoed a bicycle-safety bill because of last-minute amendments that required bicyclists to avoid riding in the roadway “to the extent practicable.” She says that language provides unclear guidance to cyclists and law enforcement.

A bill also was vetoed that would have allowed home delivery of beer and wine because of conflicts with existing regulations.


2:40 p.m.

Spending of more than $900 million on infrastructure projects across New Mexico has been approved by the state’s Democratic governor.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the capital spending bill Friday, while declining to fund about $9.5 million in projects that were deemed unprepared by line-item veto.

The funded projects run the gamut from an apartment complex for the blind in Alamogordo to electric vehicle charging stations in Santa Fe. Lujan Grisham says projects for small, rural communities were neglected under her Republican predecessor.

Amid a windfall in state income linked to a booming private oil sector, the legislation clears the way for $850 million in direct general fund spending on construction projects and equipment purchases.


11:50 a.m.

New Mexico’s governor has signed a gun control bill aimed at ensuring that people under protective orders for domestic violence relinquish their firearms.

The bill was signed as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham confronts a deadline at noon Friday to approve or reject legislation from the state’s Democrat-led Legislature.

Federal law already prohibits gun possession and purchases for people subject to a protective order in some instances and bans ownership for convicted abusers. The new state law is designed to provide clear procedures for people to give up their weapons or have them taken away.

Repeated revisions to the bill by lawmakers added a required “credible threat” finding by a court before a gun must be surrendered.

A similar initiative was vetoed in 2017 by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.


11:40 a.m.

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is racing to meet a deadline to approve or veto more than 300 bills passed during the first legislative session of her tenure.

The Democratic governor has until noon Friday to act on legislation or see it vetoed by default.

Lujan Grisham says she is trying to provide feedback and guidance to legislators when she rejects bills or deletes tax and spending provisions by line-item veto.

Lujan Grisham approved most provisions of a bill that will expand taxes on internet sales, nonprofit hospitals, auto sales, e-cigarettes and upper-income households. She vetoed portions of the bill that might have reduced taxes on tobacco products.

The approved bill increases a tax credit for working families with children to offset effects of the 2017 federal tax overhaul.

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