- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is cautioning New Mexico lawmakers that the state needs to live within its means due to an uncertain revenue picture.

She made the comments Thursday during a luncheon with business leaders in Albuquerque.

The top priority for lawmakers when the 2016 legislative session convenes later this month will be crafting a budget. Martinez has already outlined a nearly $6.5 billion spending plan that targets education, public safety and job creation.

Martinez said the challenge facing the state is persistently low energy prices. She pointed to a 10 percent drop in oil prices in the last six weeks.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, low oil prices resulted in retail gasoline prices averaging $2.43 per gallon in 2015. That’s nearly 30 percent less than in 2014.

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