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Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s administration will receive money to establish a merit pay system for teachers under a proposed state budget approved Thursday by the House despite objections from Democrats.
The House approved the financial blueprint on a 53-16 vote on Thursday, and sent it to the Senate for consideration. Only Democrats voted against the bill.
The measure will allocate nearly $5.9 billion for public schools, colleges and state government programs — ranging from prisons to health care — in the fiscal year starting in July. That’s an increase of 4.2 percent, or $239 million.
The budget leaves $19 million available for additional increases by the Senate and to offset possible tax cuts. The governor has proposed $47 million in tax reductions next year, including cutting the corporate income tax rate.
The largest share of the budget — nearly $2.6 billion or a 4.6 percent increase — will go for public schools, the Public Education Department and other educational programs.
Several Democrats objected to the proposed education spending including Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Rio Arriba and Sandoval).
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