Thursday, January 6, 2011

Party girl arrives in Santa Fe

Republican Susana Martinez became New Mexico’s first elected female governor and the nation’s first Latina governor on Saturday. After a series of inaugural balls, starting with the invitation-only “Inaugural Send-Off Gala” in Las Cruces and culminating with “The Bold Inaugural Ball” at Santa Fe Convention Center, she now occupies the 4th floor offices at the Roundhouse.

There was abundant coverage of the inauguration held in the Santa Fe plaza by the main stream media, but ignored by all except Univision was a peaceful demonstration organized by the immigrants-rights group Somos Un Pueblo Unido to protest her anti-immigrant positions.

During the campaign, Martinez said that she would work to repeal a law allowing undocumented immigrants to get New Mexico drivers licenses that she would revoke thousands of already-issued licenses. Whether the still Democratic-controlled legislature will go along with her intent is unclear.

Tackling the state’s budget deficit of over $400 million, will be the primary concern of the state’s lawmakers. During the campaign Martinez promised not to cut funding for education and Medicaid, but has since her election opened the door to some cuts in those areas.

Martinez signed four executive orders shortly after taking office at midnight on Saturday. The first was to create a small business task force to identify red-tape regulations that are harmful to business growth and job creation in New Mexico and report its findings to the Governor; it will also freeze any proposed or pending business regulations for 90 days with some exceptions.

The others directed all agencies to cooperate with federal investigators, banned the use of executive privilege for public records request without written approval from the Governor’s office and prohibited state agencies under the direct control of the governor to hire lobbyists.

The full executive orders can be viewed on Santa Fe New Mexican reporter Kate Nash’s blog as can the full text of the Martinez inaugural speech.