Gov. Susana Martinez on Friday vetoed legislation that would have allowed state agency spreadsheets to be used for political purposes.
In her veto message, the two-term Republican governor defended her administration’s track record on transparency issues, but said the legislation could have unintended consequences.
“I cannot support a bill that would allow political organizations to take personal information – such as addresses and phone numbers – from private citizens in an attempt to push their political agendas,” Martinez wrote.
The bill, House Bill 227, sponsored by Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, passed both the House and Senate with bipartisan support during this year’s 60-day legislative session.
It was prompted by a case involving Norm Gaume, a retired engineer and former director of the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, who unsuccessfully tried to obtain a spreadsheet from the agency about a Gila River diversion project.
If approved, the bill would have eliminated a provision in state law that allows agencies to withhold internal databases from public inspection if the individual seeking the records intends to use them for political purposes.
Martinez also vetoed one other bill Friday, a measure dealing with professional development guidelines for some teachers, and signed two pieces of legislation into law.
In all, lawmakers approved 277 bills during the session that ended last month. The governor has now signed 29 bills, allowed two more to take effect without her signature and vetoed 23 bills.