- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 1, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Gov. Susana Martinez said Wednesday that there’s no reason to call a special session to address millions of dollars in public works projects unless Senate Democrats are willing to compromise.

Martinez’s comments came after Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez said he and other Democrats may be willing to support a special session.

Albuquerque business leaders had asked Martinez earlier this week to call a special session so lawmakers could pass a more than $260 million capital-outlay bill that would have paid for everything from road projects and prison-security updates to improvements at parks and senior centers around the state. They say thousands of jobs are at stake.

Sanchez, a Belen Democrat, said creating jobs was the most important priority, and it could only be accomplished through a special session.

He mentioned compromise in his statement, but he said the Senate bill would have to serve as the starting point for negotiations.

“It cannot be another round of ‘my way, or the highway,’ ” Sanchez said. “That approach has failed to move a majority of senators in the past and is unlikely to persuade them now.”

Sanchez noted that the Senate passed its proposal on a 40-1 vote before sending it to the House.

Martinez argued that the Senate proposal failed to include any projects from House lawmakers or the executive branch. It was the Senate that refused to agree with changes made by the House in the final stretch of the 60-day session that ended March 21, she said.

“I don’t think that’s really bipartisanship, and I don’t think we’re going to get anything better if that’s where they want to start,” Martinez said.

The governor also acknowledged that New Mexicans are frustrated with the lack of progress in Santa Fe and the effects on other areas of the state. She pointed to roads that need to be repaired, leaky roofs on state-owned buildings and water and wastewater treatment projects.

“They’re tired of politicians. They want leadership. They want bipartisanship. They want us to work together,” Martinez said of residents. “There are a lot of things we could do, and people are sick and tired of the partisanship. They want results, and that’s what I want.”

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide