Santa Fe, NM- The deadline to sign legislation from the regular 60-day Legislative Session was on Friday, April 9, 2021. Governor Lujan Grisham dumped a flurry of vetoes Friday afternoon, including significant state budget slashes that swipe federal COVID relief funds duly allocated by the Legislature. The slashing of allocated federal relief funds is a move by the first-term Governor to attempt to retain sole control over the billions of COVID relief provided by Congress. New Mexico has greatly benefitted from some $9 billion in federal relief in 2020, and will receive another $1.6 billion in additional relief in early 2021. The Legislature allocated these funds from the federal government as part of the state's annual budget (House Bill 2), ensuring federal dollars would be used properly to maximize COVID relief and prevent an unnecessary special session to allocate these federal funds.

The Governor's veto pen axed $1.2 billion in federal dollars allocated to various government programs. Significantly, the Governor vetoed $600 million that would be used for the New Mexico Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, which has been depleted by Lujan Grisham in her year-plus economic shutdown. The unemployment fund's resources are paid by local businesses, but the State of New Mexico was forced to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government to maintain unemployment benefits when the fund went broke in September 2020.
"It is clear the Governor does not have faith in the members of this body or trust in the legislative process," said House Republican Leader Jim Townsend (Artesia). "For her and her staff, who have not only been paid throughout the Covid crisis but received massive pay raises, to veto over $1 billion dollars in relief to communities struggling through her economy is astounding. We were elected by our constituents to appropriate those funds because we are best equipped to know what our communities need. One has to wonder how much further she is going to push her out of control power grab before the Democrats decide to push back."

With New Mexico's unemployment rate the fourth highest in the country, preserving the viability of the unemployment trust fund and avoiding a major tax increase on state businesses has been a priority of both Republican and Democrat legislators for months, as there is the looming deadline to repay the federal government back for these borrowed funds. The state continues to remain under Lujan Grisham's restrictive economy and several businesses are already being notified that their unemployment insurance taxes are increasing, however the Workforce Solutions Department has notified legislators there is an appeal process. By providing these federal relief dollars to shore up the unemployment trust fund, the Legislature was taking bipartisan steps to ensure businesses would not see these tax increases.

The vetoes by the Governor were the following:

Lujan Grisham vetoed $600 million to stabilize the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
Lujan Grisham vetoed $5 million for reemployment services
Lujan Grisham vetoed $100 million from LEDA funds that directly support community economic opportunities
Lujan Grisham vetoed $100 million from the Lottery Scholarship
Lujan Grisham vetoed $200 million from DOT major road projects
Lujan Grisham vetoed $25 million from funds to assist housing assistance, small businesses, non-profits, and tourism and hospitality organizations impacted by COVID-19
Lujan Grisham vetoed $20.5 million to state parks and the state fair (which both have been impacted during the Governor's shutdowns)
Lujan Grisham vetoed $84.4 million in local projects across the state
Lujan Grisham vetoed $10 million in tourism funds
Lujan Grisham vetoed $50 million for Medicaid
Lujan Grisham vetoed $20 million for early childhood education
Lujan Grisham vetoed $5 million in senior citizen program funds

Submitting to the Beat

Those new to providing news releases to the Beat are asked to please check out submission guidelines at They are for your information to make life easier on the readers, as well as for the editor.

Advertising: Don't forget to tell advertisers that you saw their ads on the Beat.

Classifieds: We have changed Classifieds to a cheaper and shorter option. Check periodically to see if any new ones have popped up. The former software failed us, so it's just a category now, with prices posted. Send your information to and we will post it as soon as we can. Instructions and prices are on the page.

Editor's Notes

Please Note in Classifieds a dog looking for a home. And now a well-loved cat is looking for a home.

Here for YOU: Consider the Beat your DAILY newspaper for up-to-date information about Grant County. It's at your fingertips! One Click to Local News. Thanks for your support for and your readership of Grant County's online news source—

Feel free to notify if you notice any technical problems on the site. Your convenience is my desire for the Beat.  The Beat totally appreciates its readers and subscribers!  

Compliance: Because you are an esteemed member of The Grant County Beat readership, be assured that we at the Beat continue to do everything we can to be in full compliance with GDPR and pertinent US law, so that the information you have chosen to give to us cannot be compromised. 

Content on the Beat

WARNING: All articles and photos with a byline or photo credit are copyrighted to the author or photographer. You may not use any information found within the articles without asking permission AND giving attribution to the source. Photos can be requested and may incur a nominal fee for use personally or commercially.

Disclaimer: If you find errors in articles not written by the Beat team but sent to us from other content providers, please contact the writer, not the Beat. For example, obituaries are always provided by the funeral home or a family member. We can fix errors, but please give details on where the error is so we can find it. News releases from government and non-profit entities are posted generally without change, except for legal notices, which incur a small charge.

NOTE: If an article does not have a byline, it was written by someone not affiliated with the Beat and then sent to the Beat for posting.

Images: We have received complaints about large images blocking parts of other articles. If you encounter this problem, click on the title of the article you want to read and it will take you to that article's page, which shows only that article without any intruders. 

New Columnists: The Beat continues to bring you new columnists. And check out the old faithfuls who continue to provide content.

  • The Beat has a column for you gardeners out there. The Grant County Extension Service will bring you monthly columns on gardening issues.

Newsletter: If you opt in to the Join GCB Three Times Weekly Updates option at the top of this page, you will be subscribed to email notifications with links to recently posted articles.

Go to Top