- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A top New Mexico courts official says the state budget signed by Gov. Susana Martinez provides a modest budget increase overall for the court system but that a veto of supplemental funding for Magistrate Court services spells trouble.

Administrative Office of the Courts Director Artie Pepin said the signed budget increases in funding for drug courts’ treatment services. He says that will allow more offenders with substance abuse problems to participate in programs that he said are less costly than prison time and more effective in reducing recidivism.

However, Pepin says the veto of $750,000 of funding for Magistrate Courts in the current fiscal year will disrupt Magistrate Courts. He says workers may have to be furloughed and that lease payments on court buildings may be delayed.

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