A bill that was passed by the New Mexico State Legislature requiring the utilization of solar power on state buildings has been vetoed by Governor Susana Martinez.
The legislation, directing the New Mexico General Services Department to enter into contracts with solar power providers, was proposed by State Senator Jeff Steinborn.
Steinborn contended that New Mexico would save millions of dollars in annual energy costs with the installation and use of solar power on all of its more than 700 buildings that are located in various parts of the state.
Senate Bill 227 would have additionally provided power purchase agreements, making it possible for private solar companies to pay for setting up individual solar systems, realizing a financial gain through the later collection of a percentage of the utility bill.
Currently, less than half a dozen state buildings use solar power.
Martinez said she vetoed the legislation because it did not provide the financial resource for the additional staff needed to implement the bill.
The bill was one of 141 bills vetoed by Martinez this spring. A special session that will be devoted primarily to budget issues is expected to be called in the next couple of weeks.
By Garry Boulard
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