Governor signs four Senate bills, vetoes one, as session winds down

A statue outside the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Heath Haussamen /

A statue outside the Roundhouse in Santa Fe.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced early Saturday that she had signed four Senate bills into law and vetoed another.

The movement on Senate bills comes as Martinez and senators are in a fight over whether some previous vetoes are constitutional. And the governor has directed her anger at the Senate over a number of issues, most notably the state’s budget woes. The bills Martinez signed late Friday are the first Senate bills she’s approved in days.


And three have the same sponsor — Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs.

Martinez vetoed a Republican-sponsored bill, Senate Bill 297, sponsored by Ron Griggs of Alamogordo. The bill would have allowed disabled military veterans to apply for two special registration license plates instead of one, without paying a fee. Martinez wrote in her veto message that would cost the state $511,000 in lost fees.

“Given the tough fiscal situation our state is facing, and while we are finding ways to build our transportation infrastructure, we cannot afford to reduce these funds,” Martinez wrote.

Meanwhile, the Senate bills Martinez signed are:

• Senate Bill 28, sponsored by Kernan, which makes changes to the Educational Retirement Board.

• Senate Bill 32, sponsored by Kernan. The bill updates the state’s K-3 Plus program that allows some students in those grades to attend an additional five weeks of school in the summer and expands eligibility. Kernan thanked the governor for her signature in a news release, saying the bill “makes the K-3 Plus more equitable to all of our schools. While this valuable program is not a guarantee because of limited funding, all schools would be eligible to apply and determine if their at-risk students will benefit from 25 more instructional days.”

• Senate Bill 75, sponsored by Sen. James White, R-Albuquerque, and Rep. Bobby Gonzales, D-Taos. The bill allows the use of electronic fund transitions for members of the Public Employees Retirement Association.

• Senate Bill 103, also sponsored by Kernan, which aims to ease the transfer of college credits when a student moves from one college or university to another. Martinez wrote in signing the bill that it was the result of a partnership between her administration and the state’s colleges and universities.

“SB 103 codifies a higher education transfer and articulation system that will help students maintain their momentum as they work to earn their degree or certificate,” Martinez wrote. “The first of its kind in the nation, SB 103 will help our institutions coordinate to ensure our students’ coursework transfers when they do… Senate Bill 103 positions our students for greater success as they work toward graduation, and it gets our communities qualified, fulfilled graduates faster.”

Martinez didn’t act Friday on any bills with Democratic Senate sponsors.

The session ends at noon on Saturday.

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