- Associated Press - Thursday, April 13, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on New Mexico’s state budget crisis (all times local):

6:20 p.m.

Face-to-face talks over New Mexico’s state budget crisis between Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and two top Democratic lawmakers have failed to produce an agreement.

Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth said Thursday that the governor repeated ideas for solving a budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year that already have been roundly rejected by lawmakers. They include tapping more funds from school district reserves and reducing state pension contributions.

Wirth says he repeatedly asked Martinez for more details of tax reforms that she wants incorporated into a budget compromise but left without clear answers. The meeting included House Speaker Brian Egolf of Santa Fe.

Martinez spokesman Michael Lonergan says lawmakers continue to shirk responsibility and dig in their heels over the budget. Wirth says the governor’s budget vetoes have created a constitutional crisis.


4:00 p.m.

New Mexico lawmakers have authorized legal challenges to vetoes by Gov. Susana Martinez that could otherwise defund the Legislature and state universities and colleges.

Leading lawmakers on Thursday directed attorneys to proceed with lawsuits that challenge vetoes that affect core state functions.

Lawmakers on the Legislative Council also directed staff to begin collecting signatures to call an extraordinary session of the Legislature, potentially upstaging the governor’s plans for a special session on issues of her choice.

The state’s Republican governor has vetoed major spending provisions as well as tax increases from the Democrat-led Legislature designed to shore up shaky state finances.


2:20 p.m.

Negotiations over a possible solution to New Mexico’s state budget crisis have been set in motion as lawmakers receive legal advice on how to respond to major taxation and spending vetoes by Gov. Susana Martinez.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth said Thursday he had received a text message from the governor’s office asking to meet. Leading state lawmakers consulted with attorneys and staff behind closed doors Thursday afternoon about vetoes that would defund the Legislature and all state institutions of higher education in the coming fiscal year.

Martinez wants to convene a special session to resolve the budget standoff after also vetoing a variety of tax and fee increases from the Democrat-led Legislature.

New Mexico is struggling to stabilize funding for public schools, courts and other critical services.

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