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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The House narrowly approved a proposed budget on Wednesday that cuts state spending by nearly 3 percent next year and uses savings from public employee pensions and film subsidies to balance the financing blueprint for public education and government programs.
The measure allocates $5.4 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1. That's about $155 million or 2.8 percent less than this year, when New Mexico used nearly $380 million in federal economic stimulus money for health care and education. The federal aid has disappeared, forcing lawmakers to trim spending to balance spending and anticipated revenues next year.
"We did the best we could with the available revenue we had," said Rep. Henry Kiki Saavedra, an Albuquerque Democrat and chairman of the Appropriations and Finance Committee.
The proposed budget is about $18 million lower than spending recommendations by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez.
Lawmakers did not rely on tax increases in the budget but they assumed about $110 million in savings from pension fund changes and $25 million in extra revenue next year by capping subsidies for film production in the state. Separate legislation must be enacted to implement those changes.
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