- Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on attempts to resolve New Mexico’s state budget crisis (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

A Democratic state senator says line-item vetoes by New Mexico’s governor to a budget solvency bill will only exacerbate a financial crisis in state government.

Sen. Michael Padilla of Albuquerque on Monday said it was unfair of the governor to pick winners and losers by vetoing $22 million of proposed spending cuts in the area of educational reform.

Martinez approved another $150 million in spending cuts at other state agencies. Most state agencies will reduce spending by 5.5 percent to help shore up the state’s general fund.

The cuts are part of a solvency package approved by the Legislature to address a nearly $600 million operating budget deficit.


5:40 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is vetoing $22 million in proposed cuts to public school programs.

Martinez approved about $150 in agency spending cuts on Monday as New Mexico struggles to close a major state budget deficit.

Line-item vetoes by the governor restore funding to performance-based pay incentives for teachers and other hallmark initiatives of the governor’s education agenda.

State finances are in turmoil amid a downturn in the oil and natural gas sectors. The second-term Republican governor says lawmakers went too far in cutting over 20 percent of classroom reform programs.

Most state agencies will see their budgets cut by 5.5 percent for the current fiscal year. No cuts were proposed for the Public Safety and Children, Youth and Families departments.


4:40 p.m.

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation that slashes state agency spending to help fill a budget deficit.

The governor announced Monday line-item vetoes designed to spare some public school initiatives from the spending reductions.

The New Mexico Legislature approved $171 million in agency spending cuts this month during a special session to help address a major operating budget deficit.

Martinez says lawmakers went too far with cuts to education programs designed to reward top-performing teachers, cover costs for advanced placement exams and place social workers in middle schools.

The state’s budget woes are linked to a downturn in energy markets that has taken a bite out of taxes and royalties from oil and natural gas production and sent shock waves through a lagging economy.

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