Senator Jacob Candelaria has emerged as a vocal opponent against Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s handling of the legislation.
Senator Jacob Candelaria Challenges Governor’s Line-Item Vetoes on HB 547
Senator Jacob Candelaria, a retired state senator with a history of clashing with the governor’s administration, has been outspoken about Lujan Grisham’s excessive use of line-item vetoes. Having previously served as a Democrat, Senator Jacob Candelaria shifted his affiliation to “Decline to State” in 2021, post redistricting efforts. Senator Jacob Candelaria’s contention lies in the assertion that the Governor overstepped her boundaries. The bill, primarily focused on taxes, did not provide appropriations, thus making line-item vetoes inappropriate. Candelaria told the NM Political Report, “HB 547 is a tax bill. The Governor cannot line item veto a single word from the bill.” Given Senator Jacob Candelaria’s past confrontations with the governor’s office, his stance has gained significant attention. Rep. Miguel Garcia, D-Albuquerque, bolstered by Senator Jacob Candelaria’s claims, has filed for a writ of mandamus in the New Mexico Supreme Court. This legal move insists that Lujan Grisham did not possess the constitutional right to make any line-item vetoes to the tax omnibus bill. Citing his past experiences and knowledge, Senator Jacob Candelaria remarked on the importance of maintaining the separation of powers in state governance.
Furthermore, Senator Jacob Candelaria emphasized the constitutional options available to the governor regarding HB 547. The governor had the authority to sign the bill, pocket veto it, or veto it entirely. Any line-item vetoes were, according to Candelaria, unconstitutional. With his significant political history, Senator Jacob Candelaria comments on such matters carry weight, making this an issue to watch. Caroline Sweeney, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office, responded by emphasizing their respect for New Mexicans’ judicial rights. “We anticipate, however, that this suit will be dismissed after review by a judge,” she remarked. But with Senator Jacob Candelaria relentless pursuit of clarity, many await the state supreme court’s decision on the matter, hoping for a resolution that reinforces the state’s foundational governance principles.