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N.M. AG: Governor cannot block funding for capital projects

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Nov 25, 2013

SANTA FE (Legal Newsline) -- New Mexico Attorney General Gary King, in an opinion last week, said Gov. Susana Martinez was wrong in blocking $13.5 million in funding for capital projects statewide.

Twelve state senators -- all Democrats -- asked King to review the governor's order blocking funding for more than 100 projects.

Martinez, a Republican, said at the time she was concerned that many of the projects authorized in the legislation were going to entities that were behind on their financial audits -- some of them by two years or more.

"Millions of dollars are spent each year on capital projects in communities throughout our state," she said. "It's important for the entities spending this money to show on a regular basis that they meet financial management standards."

According to the Las Cruces Sun-News, the attorney general said Friday Martinez violated the separation of powers in blocking funding for the projects.

King is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, and could end up facing Martinez in 2014.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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