By Andrew Oxford
The New Mexican
A legislative session that began 60 days ago with calls for bipartisanship to balance the state's quavering budget ended Saturday with bitterness, acrimony and a promise by Gov. Susana Martinez to bring lawmakers back for a special session to craft a new budget without any tax increases.
It would be the third year in a row that Martinez has called lawmakers into a special session to address budget shortfalls and other financial issues, illustrating the continuing discord between the Republican governor and Democrats in the Legislature. This session's disharmony was particularly notable because it included skirmishes between the governor and some lawmakers of her own party.
"Many in the Legislature failed to do their jobs this session," Martinez told reporters shortly after lawmakers adjourned. "They actually squandered 60 days and cowed to special interest groups. It was reckless and it was irresponsible, and now we are staring down the path of a government shutdown."
Martinez said her administration will consider closing nonessential state services, such as museums and parks, and might furlough government staff to save money until legislators send her a budget she can support.