Yesterday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham vetoed SB 48, the “junior” supplemental budget bill. The $790,000 we had secured to continue the Health Security Plan design process was a small part of that bill.
SB 48 contained more than $50 million in funding for state agency and local government programs and for other projects. The bill gave each legislator the opportunity to direct funding to the programs and projects they felt were most important for their constituents and the state. SB 48 passed unanimously in both houses.
The funding for Health Security was just one small portion of this important bill, which also included funding for local cultural programs, water conservation programs, suicide prevention services, mental health programs, and services for veterans experiencing homelessness. It contained funding for hospital medical equipment, food banks, and media literacy programs, along with money to support health councils and the development of language preservation curricula for Native American students. This is an expansive, 73-page bill, and these are just a few of the programs that were slated to receive funding.
According to the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican, there is definite talk among legislators about calling an emergency special session to override the governor’s veto. Three-fifths of each house—25 senators and 42 representatives—would need to agree to convening an “extraordinary session,” which has only happened once before. If a special session is called, two-thirds of each house would need to vote to override the governor’s veto in order to restore the funding in SB 48.
We are also working on other ways to continue funding for the design process. We will be sure to keep you updated!
Written by Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign