NM forecasts 4% revenue growth in next budget year

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By Barry Massey

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new financial forecast estimates more than $270 million will be available to lawmakers and Gov. Susana Martinez for budget increases next year.

Top officials in the Martinez administration outlined the revenue projections on Wednesday to the Legislative Finance Committee during a meeting in Angel Fire.

The state expects to collect $5.9 billion during the 2014 fiscal year, which starts next July. That's $272 million more than the state will spend this year. That's also the pool of so-called new money available for spending increases on public education and other government programs as well as to offset any tax cuts that may be enacted.

Lawmakers estimate that several obligations in current law, such as higher public employee pension payments by the state, will require $74 million of the money.