Governor’s $150 million cash grab will hurt local governments

Artesia, NM – At the start of New Mexico’s fiscal year, Governor Lujan Grisham vetoed $150 million of federal CARES Act funding for local municipalities. The veto was one of many that the executive made to House Bill 1, the legislature’s emergency solvency measure to counteract the Governor’s 20% spending increase in her first two years in office.

The CARES Act funding was intended to support local municipalities affected by Governor Lujan Grisham’s forced economic shutdown. New Mexico businesses have experienced tremendous turmoil during the forced closure, with many closing their doors permanently. Municipalities rely on New Mexico’s local business revenues to operate and provide essential services to their communities. With the daily count of shuttered businesses growing every day, local governments will be forced to find new revenue streams to provide essential services which could lead to higher taxes on struggling New Mexicans. The Governor’s veto of funds is an extraordinary usurping of legislative fiscal authority and sets the stage for the administration to continue picking winners and losers in the state’s economy.

“This is sad day for local governments across our state. Governor Lujan Grisham has attempted to usurp the legislative body over the past two years, but I never thought she would outright swipe control from our local governments,” said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend. “I certainly hope that for the sake of these struggling communities the Governor commits to ultimately providing CARES Act funds to these local governments in a fair and equitable way.”###