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Today in Republican Governance

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Susana Martinez, governor of New Mexico, decided that if she couldn’t slash funding to higher education through the budget, she’d just veto funding it at all.

Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed on Friday the entire higher education budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 as part of an ongoing standoff over the state’s budget woes and how to fund government.

She also vetoed the Legislature’s funding and a bill that would have raised additional money through a number of tax increases. And she reiterated her pledge to call lawmakers back for a special session soon.

“In the coming weeks, I will call the Legislature back to Santa Fe to finish the job they were supposed to do in the first place,” Martinez said. “I believe that by working together, we can balance the budget – without tax increases. While I’m disappointed in them, I am optimistic that we can come together.”

Statements from Democratic leaders suggested coming together may be difficult.

“Governor Martinez has chosen to play extreme political games rather than act responsibly,” said Senate Majority Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe. “Her attempt to use line-item vetoes to eliminate an entire branch of government and every higher education institution is outrageous.”

House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said the governor’s vetoes of higher education and legislative funding “are beyond the pale” and “unconstitutional.”

“Her action also eliminates the path to a brighter future for thousands of New Mexico children who want to go to college and gain a quality higher education,” Egolf said. He added that the governor “is clearly not serious about fixing our state’s budget problems or growing our economy” and is “turning her back on the bipartisan and responsible solution offered to her by the Legislature.”

First, this is what New Mexico gets for electing someone originally from Texas. Second, this is Republican governance in a nutshell: if you don’t get what you want, threaten to destroy the entire higher education system. What’s that good for anyway, bunch of commie professors and all.

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