politics

Did the guv veto a lot of bills?

State senators are not happy about many of Gov. Susana Martinez’ vetoes. But were there a lot? Or was it just business as usual?

Out of a total 284 measures that passed both the House and the Senate, Martinez signed 186 into law and vetoed 98, according to the Legislative Council Service.

Some of those were “pocket vetoes,” which means the governor didn’t kill them directly. Instead, by not acting on them before Friday’s deadline, she procedurally vetoed them.

According to the Legislature’s records, the new guv did veto a large percentage of bills in 2011—when you compare her to Gov. Bill Richardson.

In 2003, Richardson vetoed 16.1 percent of passed legislation.

In 2005, Richardson vetoed 16 percent of passed legislation.

In 2007, Richardson vetoed 19.8 percent of passed legislation.

In 2009, Richardson vetoed 10.5 percent of passed legislation.

This year, Martinez vetoed 34.5 percent of passed legislation.

But this isn’t the first time New Mexico has seen a governor’s veto stamp hard at work. John Yaeger, assistant director of the Legislative Council Service, says during Republican Gov. Gary Johnson’s first term in 1995, he vetoed about half of the measures that came across his desk—roughly 200 of 400 bills.

Let’s look at Johnson’s numbers, the last Republican governor to helm the state atop a Democratic Legislature. (For all the years discussed in this blog, the Roundhouse has been run by Dems.)

In 1995, Johnson vetoed 47.2 percent of passed legislation.

In 1997, Johnson vetoed 27.6 percent of passed legislation.

In 1999, Johnson vetoed 33.4 percent of passed legislation.

In 2001, Johnson vetoed 27.1 percent of passed legislation.