Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Partners Benefits Order Questioned.(Final)

Byline: Loie Fecteau Journal Politics Writer

Senator Says Gov. Exceeded Authority

SANTA FE -- Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle said he thinks Gov. Bill Richardson exceeded his authority when he issued an executive order extending benefits to domestic partners of state employees, which takes effect July 1.

"I think it's a little beyond his authority to make a law like that," Ingle said in a telephone interview this week.

Ingle, a Portales Republican, said he has asked Attorney General Patricia Madrid to issue an opinion on the issue.

"My reading of the constitution and the statutes leads me to believe that his (Richardson's) executive order develops public policy, appropriates money and encroaches on the power of the Legislature above and beyond what the constitution or statutes permit," Ingle said in a May 20 letter to Madrid. …

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