SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Supreme Court has upheld the governor’s authority to fine businesses as much as $5,000 a day for violations of emergency health orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.
The court heard arguments from businesses claiming the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham overstepped its authority in response to the pandemic.
The ruling was unanimous in the governor’s favor. Chief Justice Michael Vigil says the Legislature clearly gave the governor authority to apply administrative fines higher than the $100 citations the businesses claimed was the maximum allowed.
The state has fined 16 businesses up to $5,000 a day.