ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Gov. Susana Martinez says New Mexico is facing a crisis and soon will not be able to sign checks or pay contracts and that employee furloughs are possible.
"New Mexico is on the path to a full-blown government shutdown -- all because the Senate wasted 60 days debating pointless things like holiday songs about tamales and posole," Gov. Martinez said.
"Because of the Senate's reckless decision, we've already instated a hiring freeze all across state government, and we can start furloughing state employees as early as next month. This could have a huge effect all across the state -- including shutting down MVDs for one or two days a week. It's disappointing and could have been avoided," Martinez added.
The governor outlined the state's dire fiscal situation during a luncheon with business leaders, real estate professionals and others Monday in Albuquerque.
The two-term Republican governor criticized the Democrat-controlled Legislature, saying lawmakers chose to craft a budget that relied on raising taxes and fees to the tune of $350 million. She repeated her promise not to sign any of the tax increase measures.
She also vowed to call lawmakers back for a special session and said they would have to address budget problems stemming from the current fiscal year as well as the stalemate over next year's budget.