Why Veto Good Jobs for Women in New Mexico?

Why Veto Good Jobs for Women in New Mexico?

May 3, 2019

There are 112 members of the New Mexico Legislature and it’s impressive when all of them agree on one thing. Such was the case recently when House Bill 610 (HB 610) passed the Legislature.

The purpose of HB 610 was to start a program within the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department (EMNRD) to make it easier for women to get high-paying jobs in New Mexico’s booming oil and natural gas industry. The idea had such strong support that not a single member of the Legislature voted against it. In fact, even the Senator who wants to ban fracking in the entire state voted for it.

Which is why it is so perplexing that New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham vetoed the bill. Her reason? Not enough money.

It’s important to remember that New Mexico is the beneficiary of a budget surplus well over $1 billion dollars, largely due to energy production in the state. Thanks to oil and natural gas, the Governor was able to recommend a lot of budget increases including:

  • Over 17% to EMNRD
  • Over 68% to renewables
  • Over 38% to the Governor’s Office

With over $1 billion in new money in state coffers, it strains credulity to believe there wasn’t any funding for a program that garnered a tremendous amount of bipartisan support.

One can only hope the anti-energy agenda popular in Santa Fe isn’t so far out-of-touch that even helping New Mexico’s women get high-paying jobs is too far.