- Associated Press - Saturday, March 11, 2017

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

5:20 p.m.

The New Mexico Senate has approved a $6.1 billion spending plan and companion tax increases for the coming fiscal year designed to shore up funding for public schools and state agencies amid a budget crisis linked to a downturn in oil prices and a sluggish economy.

The Senate voted Saturday to approve a $23 million general fund spending increase for the fiscal year starting in July, and a separate bill that raises roughly $350 million in new taxes and fees. The House approved the original bills and must sign off on Senate revisions before they go to the governor.

Funding would rise by 0.5 percent for K-12 public schools, and 2.5 percent for a judiciary that has struggled this year to pay salaries, compensate jurors and provide attorneys to poor defendants.

New tax revenues from nonprofit hospitals, gasoline and vehicle sales, and trucking permit fees would offset spending and help replenish state reserves to protect the state’s credit rating.


12:10 p.m.

The New Mexico Senate is deliberating a budget plan for the coming fiscal year that shores up funding for public school, courts and most state agencies by raising taxes on everything from internet retail sales to vehicle purchases, gasoline and nonprofit hospitals operations.

The full Democrat-led Senate convened Saturday with one week left in the session to resolve how to pay for a $6.1 billion general fund spending wish list for the coming fiscal year.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez looks likely to veto portions of any plan that contain outright tax increases but has indicated a willingness to close tax loopholes.

Architects of the Legislature’s general fund spending bill and companion revenue proposal are trying to avoid further spending cuts after slashing current school funding and agency budgets.

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