New Mexico Democrats Call on House Republicans to Override Higher Education Veto

Las Cruces, NM – At a press conference in Las Cruces today, New Mexico Democrats, NEA-NM, and elected officials called on state House Republicans to override the Martinez-Sanchez higher education veto. The special session will begin on May 24.

At the press conference, DPNM Chair Richard Ellenberg said, “House Republicans should be focused on representing their constituents, many of whom will be directly affected by the Martinez-Sanchez administration’s reckless veto…New Mexicans deserve to know if they’re prepared to override the veto.”

During the 2017 regular session, Democratic leadership in the legislature worked endlessly with Republicans to develop a bipartisan, balanced budget and revenue package. Governor Martinez rejected that budget, and instead vetoed every penny of higher education funding. 

N.M. Representative Bill McCamley added, “There’s no question, we must fund higher education—and it was incredibly irresponsible for Martinez-Sanchez administration to defund. The most appropriate solution is not to accept this political gamesmanship at the risk of New Mexico students and override the Governor’s veto.”

NMSU student Karina Martin shared her story about how the reckless Martinez-Sanchez veto of higher education funding has affected her future endeavors, “We’re not sure our classes will be there next semester..this uncertainty is affecting the classroom experience.” 

The veto of all higher education funding provided by the state not only impacts New Mexico students and universities, but also many other facilities funded through the higher education budget—like UNM’s Cancer Center or Carrie Tingley Children’s Hospital. 

“The fact is, the impacts are already being felt—many colleges have already announced tuition increases, program cuts and campuses are closing their doors,” said DPNM Vice Chair Neomi Martinez-Parra.

“New Mexico needs House Republicans to join Democrats who are leading to solve this problem and override the veto to restore higher education funding,” said NEA-NM Vice President Mary Parr Sanchez.

As the legislature prepares to convene starting May 24, it is imperative that funding be restored to New Mexico colleges and universities, so students have certainty to plan for the future.

NM Reps. Nathan Small and Joanne Ferrary also participated in the press conference.