- Associated Press - Friday, December 8, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico state agency overseeing a world renowned network of museums and historical sites says additional funding is needed to repair buildings and shore up public services.

Department of Cultural Affairs Secretary Veronica Gonzalez urged state lawmakers this week to approve $3.2 million in special funding.

She says attendance declined by about 74,000 visits for the year ending June 30 at facilities overseen by the agency as a result of increased admissions fees, reduced hours of operation and reductions in free days for New Mexico residents. Earned admissions revenue increased by $203,000.

The agency’s eight state museums and eight cultural sites are a bulwark of the state tourism economy, displaying cultural treasures from the story of Billy the Kid to international folk art, oil paintings and space rockets.

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