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SANTA FE (AP) — Gov. Bill Richardson said Tuesday he will call a special session of the Legislature next week if lawmakers fail to agree on a state budget before adjourning on Thursday but there's still time to reach a compromise on spending and tax increases.
The Democratic governor said lawmakers should consider a small increase in New Mexico's gross receipts tax — perhaps one-eighth or one-quarter of a cent — along with a tax on junk food and cigarettes to help raise revenues to balance the budget.
"Nobody is happy with every revenue increase, but we have an opportunity to forge a compromise," said Richardson.
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, said he could support the tax proposals outlined by the governor.
"To me, that sounds reasonable to get us out of here," Sanchez said in an interview.
Richardson has met with legislators about the budget, and legislative leaders are working privately to try to resolve differences between tax increases and spending cuts approved separately by the House and Senate.
Sen. John Arthur Smith, a Deming Democrat, said the Senate and House remained far apart.
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