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The Latest: Governor takes no action on solar tax credit

March 7, 2018

New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is shown after signing the state's budget on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Albuquerque after vetoing items she called "wasteful". (AP Photo/ Russell Contreras)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Latest on bills approved or vetoed by New Mexico’s governor (all times local):

3:50 p.m.

Gov. Susana Martinez has declined to act on a measure that would have restored a tax credit aimed at offsetting the costs of solar energy systems for households, small businesses and farms in New Mexico.

The Republican governor faced a deadline Wednesday to sign legislation that was approved during the recent 30-day session. Measures not acted upon by the governor are considered pocket vetoed.

The original tax credit expired in 2016. The proposal approved by lawmakers this year called for a credit that would have gradually declined from 10 percent of the purchase and installation price to 6 percent over a 15-year period.

The governor previously said she wasn’t in favor of stand-alone tax measures.

Supporters said the credit would have bolstered New Mexico’s solar industry.

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1:30 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed a $6.3 billion general fund spending bill for the coming fiscal year that boosts funding for law enforcement and public education.

Martinez said Wednesday that she is grateful that State Police officers will get raises and disappointed in the level of funding for business incentives.

Spending on teacher salaries across the state will increase by $63 million during the fiscal year that starts July 1.

As she prepares to leave office, Martinez says she will leave state government with strong cash reserves of more than $600 million as a buffer against any economic downturn.

New Mexico government income is surging in connection with a sustained rebound in oil prices and major investments by oil and gas exploration in the southeast of the state.

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12:10 p.m.

A package of public safety reforms designed to bolster police ranks, deter repeat drunken driving, toughen gun-possession penalties for violent felons in New Mexico has been signed by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez with some reluctance.

Martinez indicated her overall disappointment as she signed the bundled reforms on Wednesday with a partial veto. She says the rejected provisions would interfere with the state’s authority to suspend driver’s licenses for failures to appear in court.

The governor is accusing the Legislature of clinging to the status quo on public safety issues amid increased reports of crime in cities including Albuquerque.

During a 30-day session that ended in February, Republican and Democratic lawmakers rallied around reforms that also aim to better address addiction and health issues among prison inmates as they are released.

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11:40 a.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has rejected proposed infrastructure projects at four college campuses in northern and western New Mexico.

Martinez on Wednesday signed a bill to fund improvements at a long list of senior citizen facilities, libraries, public colleges and Native American tribal schools.

At the same time, she is vetoing line by line proposed spending at Luna Community College in Las Vegas, N.M.; at a state college campus in Espanola; and at University of New Mexico campuses in Gallup and Los Alamos.

The rejected projects would have cost more than $7 million.

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1 a.m.

Time is running out for bills from the Legislature to win approval from Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez.

Martinez has until noon on Wednesday to sign off on a bill that bundles together bipartisan public safety measures and to approve all or portions of a $6.3 billion spending bill from the Democrat-led Legislature.

Bills that are not signed do not go into effect — an outcome known as a pocket veto. Martinez has indicated general support for the Legislature’s spending priorities.

During a 30-day session that ended in February, lawmakers rallied around a package of public safety reforms designed to bolster police ranks, deter repeat drunken driving, toughen gun-possession penalties for violent felons, and better address addiction and health issues among prison inmates as they are released.

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