Governor signs budget solvency plan, vetos some cuts

Governor signs budget solvency plan, vetos some cuts

Only $3 for 13 weeks
Home deliveries don't get food-tax exemption during pandemic

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks about the uptick in confirmed COVID-19 cases in the state and her decision to hold off on opening more of the economy during a news conference at the state Capitol on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed Tuesday a budget solvency plan seeking to mend a multibillion-dollar deficit by scaling back spending increases.

But the Democrat vetoed Tuesday some cuts to public education and other areas.

State government finances are reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus epidemic and aggressive state emergency health restrictions designed to hold the virus at bay. State economists are forecasting a $2.4 billion decline in state government income through June 2021 amid the economic upheaval.

This month, Senate Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans during a special session to approve a roughly $7 billion spending plan for the budget year beginning July 1, which scaled back state spending by about $600 million.

Salary increases for state agency and public school workers were scaled back from 4% to 1% or less under the proposal, with pay bumps focused on lower-income public employees to offset rising health insurance premiums. The state government is under a hiring freeze, except a 200-job hiring spree to help identify and trace new coronavirus outbreaks

But the pullback on spending increases went farther than recommendations from Lujan Grisham.

The governor vetoed more than $30 million in budget cuts, restoring funding that had been slated for reduction for public schools and other measures.

Overall, recurring general fund appropriations were reduced by roughly $415 million for fiscal year 2021. Meanwhile, non-recurring general fund appropriations were reduced by approximately $102 million in fiscal year 2020 and $184 million in fiscal year 2021.

“My administration has from day one emphasized the importance of expanding the state’s reserves. I am glad to have done that work on the front end because it has given us needed flexibility as we move forward,” Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “In our fiscal approach, the ultimate goal will always be a responsible and responsive budget and a state government that meets New Mexicans directly where their needs are.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Concerned about COVID-19?

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Knox County and Shelby County on Friday joined Nashville and Memphis in requiring people to wear face masks in many public settings to slow the spread of the new coronavirus. The orders come as the virus cases continue to surge in Tennessee. The state recorded 1,822 new cases on Friday, a new one-day record. That tops the previous record of 1,806 set on Wednesday.

  • Updated

WASHINGTON (AP) — Not long after noon on Feb. 6, President Donald Trump strode into the ornate East Room of the White House. The night before, his impeachment trial had ended with acquittal in the Republican-controlled Senate. It was time to gloat and settle scores.

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.

Topics