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Legislature unlikely to plug budget gap

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By Jay Miller

SANTA FE — As we predicted, last week’s train wreck looks less imminent as the session’s end approaches. Last weekend state senators crafted themselves a budget bill and declared themselves ready to talk to the House.

The talks aren’t going smoothly. Public posturing is still the name of the game and likely still will be by the time you read this. But there’s still time.

Lawmakers don’t want to spend any more time up here than necessary. They aren’t getting paid. They want to get home and back to earning a living.

Unfortunately the budgets passed by each house don’t look much alike. The Senate made cuts the House didn’t and passed a completely different set of taxes.

But if the Senate truly believes its mantra about everyone having to share the pain, it will finally back off its insistence that we still coddle the rich.

Whatever agreement the House and Senate hammer out, it isn’t likely to plug the entire $650 million budget gap. Lawmakers know they will have to be back soon after the end of the current fiscal year, June 30.


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