Gov. Susana Martinez urged New Mexico’s 112 part-time lawmakers to take action on the state’s economy and public education system during her State of the State Address.
The Republican governor, delivering her fourth and final address of her first term in office, said New Mexico’s economy must be diversified so that the state is not overly reliant on federal government spending.
“Our charge this session is to build an economy as diverse as the state we are proud to call home,” Martinez said.
The governor entered the House chambers to deliver her State of the State Address alongside her sister, Lettie, who is developmentally disabled.
She also praised Roswell middle school teacher John Masterson and security guard Kevin Hayes for their roles in last week’s shooting at Berrendo Middle School. Both Masterson and Hayes received a standing ovation from the audience, who packed the House gallery for the governor’s speech.
In her 47-minute speech, Martinez laid out her legislative agenda, which features initiatives on water, health care, education, public safety and the economy.
She urged lawmakers to adopt a bipartisan spirit when possible, though some hot-button issues are expected to reignite political flames.
“While we won’t agree on everything, and there will certainly be spirited debate, I am committed to working with you to find common ground, just like we have in the past, because the people of New Mexico deserve nothing less,” Martinez said.
Before the governor’s remarks, House Speaker Ken Martinez, D-Grants, sounded a similar tone, saying, “While we may have to go through some tough political issues, we have to make sure that’s just a small part of what we do.”
Democratic Sen. William Soules of Las Cruces will deliver the official Democratic response to the State of the State later this afternoon.