- Associated Press - Saturday, January 21, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Latest on budget action by the New Mexico Legislature (all times local):

4:40 p.m.

The New Mexico House has adjourned until Monday after approving two of four bills of a budget solvency plan but deferring action on the plans’ other two bills until the coming week.

The House was in session Saturday as lawmakers worked to dig the state out of an $80 million budget hole and restore a modest financial cushion in the current fiscal year.

The House on Saturday approved two of the four bills in the solvency plan and sent them to the Senate, which has approved its own versions. The Senate versions are similar but not identical to the House-approved bills. That means further Senate consideration is required.

The House then paused its budget work Saturday after sending its versions of the other two bills back to committee and taking steps to allow consideration of the Senate’s versions of those two bills, possibly as early as Monday.


3:20 p.m.

The Democratic-led New Mexico House has rejected a Republican attempt to shift $63 million set aside of money for construction and other projects to the general fund to instead be used to help shore up the state’s troubled finances.

Republican Rep. Jason Harper of Sandoval proposed the shift, saying the capital outlay money would better be used for education, law enforcement and child protection.

The House rejected Sandoval’s proposal Saturday, with Democratic Rep. Bill McCamley of Mesilla Park saying the state should not stop what he called “critical infrastructure projects” midstream.

Sandoval proposed the shift as an amendment to one of several bills under consideration by the House to dig the state out of an $80 million budget hole and restore a modest financial cushion.


2:30 p.m.

The New Mexico House is poised to vote on a solvency plan intended to vault the state out of an $80 million budget hole and restore a modest financial cushion.

The House will meet Saturday to consider the package of four bills that would pump as much as $262 million into the general fund by slashing spending at school districts, postponing infrastructure projects and tapping tax payments by insurance companies ahead of time.

Supporters say the one-time fixes would ensure that New Mexico can pay its bills on time through the end of the fiscal year on June 30.

The moves also would allow the Legislature to begin drafting a budget for the new fiscal year - when new agency spending cuts are likely.

The solvency plan would reduce spending at most public school districts throughout the state by 2 percent.

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