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Uncertainty over budget provision on teacher pay

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Teachers are in line for a possible $2,000 increase in their base salaries under a $6 billion spending plan approved by the Legislature, but there's some uncertainty over the raise.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez could veto a budget provision intended to make sure local districts implement the higher salaries.

An educational union leader said Friday he hoped Martinez accepts the Legislature's directive over teacher pay.

Martinez has indicated that she'll likely sign the budget but may use her line-item veto powers to cut some proposed spending.

The governor has until March 12 to decide whether to sign or veto legislation passed by lawmakers. Martinez spokesman Enrique Knell said no decisions have been made on possible line-item vetoes in the budget.

The governor vetoed budget language last year that's similar to what the Democratic-controlled Legislature included this session on pay raises for educators.

Lawmakers approved about $70 million for compensation for public school workers in the latest budget proposal. That's enough for local districts to provide an average 3 percent pay raises for all school employees and boost minimum teacher salaries by $2,000.


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