Governor proposes budget balancing plan

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By The Staff

SANTA FE – Gov. Bill Richardson proposed his adjusted plan to deal with the state budget shortfall as lawmakers kicked off a special budget legislative session today.

Richardson spent the day laying out his plan to lawmakers and stressing his priorities of saving jobs and making sure education is not harmed by major cuts.

“I have made adjustments to my original budget proposal to reflect our new budget realities. But just like my original plan, this is a fiscally responsible package with minimum cuts to services and one that avoids layoffs and furloughs,” Richardson said in a news release. “I have made it very clear to legislators that any cuts to education must be minimal and not affect our classrooms, kids and teachers.”

The governor’s $617 million plan relies partially on those rainy-day reserves to protect schools, while still keeping future cash reserves at a prudent 5.5 percent.

“We are able to minimize education cuts and protect classroom spending as a result of our aggressive efforts in the past to keep cash reserves at 10 percent or higher,” Richardson said.

The plan is as follows:

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