New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on Thursday ordered a hiring freeze for all agencies under her control, a move designed to save cash pending a political standoff over the funding of state government and public schools.
The state personnel director outlined the freeze in a memo to cabinet secretaries, citing the need for executive agencies to take immediate action to control spending due to unprecedented budgetary challenges.
Despite the freeze, some hiring will continue for jobs identified as critical for public safety and health as well as those related to taxation and revenue collections.
The memo did not mention the governor’s disappointment with the outcome of the legislative session that wrapped up more than a week ago. However, she has been outspoken about the Democratic-controlled Legislature sending her a budget built on $350 million in tax increases and fee hikes.
“The fact is, state government affects every New Mexican, and passing a balanced budget is critical in funding education, public safety and service to protect abused children,” she said in a statement.