The primary task of the New Mexico Legislature during election-year, 30-day sessions is crafting a budget for the coming fiscal year.
And, as Tom Trowbridge reports from the Roundhouse, a proposed spending plan cleared a major committee hurdle this week.
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The House Appropriations and Finance Committee on Monday gave its approval to a seven-point-six billion-dollar general fund budget bill. The spending plan for the fiscal year beginning in July is seven-and-a-half percent higher than the current budget, or 539-million dollars more than last year, thanks mostly to New Mexico’s booming energy industry.
Democrat Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup chairs the HAFC:
Rep. Lundstrom :21
The vote in favor of the budget was 11-to-five on a party line vote. Clovis Republican Randall Crowder among the “No’s:”
Rep. Crowder :11
In addition to increased salaries, House Bill Two raises the state’s reserves to more than 26-percent. It also includes 250 million to the New Mexico Department of Transportation for the state’s road priorities, 50 million for the local road fund, and an increase of 15 million for the Local Economic Development Act.
For the New Mexico News Network, I’m Tom Trowbridge