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SANTA FE (AP) — As the New Mexico Legislature returned to work Tuesday, Gov. Susana Martinez used her State of the State address to press lawmakers to focus on boosting New Mexico's struggling economy.
Martinez spoke to a joint session of the House and Senate after legislators convened for a 60-day session, taking the opportunity to say that diversifying New Mexico's economy was needed to protect the state from a federal government that she called "dysfunctional."
"The national economy is stagnant. It's hardly growing," Martinez said. "And the federal government — on which our state has become so dependent over the years — is faltering, weighed down by $16 trillion in debt."
Economic and budget issues were possible common ground for the Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled Legislature. New Mexico has lost about 4,800 jobs in the past year — a drop of 0.6 percent — and potential federal budget cuts could deliver another blow to the state's economy.
Martinez asked the Legislature to approve a reduction in the corporate income tax rate, as well as other economic development incentives to make New Mexico more competitive with neighboring states in recruiting and retaining private businesses.
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