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2018 State Legislature: Senate committee agrees to more police pay, DA funds

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By Andrew Oxford

The New Mexican

A Senate committee bent Saturday to calls by Gov. Susana Martinez for more funding for state police pay and the District Attorney's Office in Albuquerque, as well as calls from some fellow lawmakers to restore at least some of the funding cut from school districts last year.

In announcing its version of the budget passed by the state House of Representatives late last month, the Senate Finance Committee seemed intent on maintaining the tenuous peace that has set in at the Roundhouse in the wake of the partisan clashes of the last few years.

The budget would amount to about $6.3 billion and, according to the Senate Finance Committee, leave reserves around 10 percent. It would amount to about a 4 percent increase in spending over the current fiscal year.

The House passed its version of the spending plan by a vote of 65-3 on Jan. 31. But aides to Martinez were quick to call it "soft on crime."

And the Senate Finance Committee's version would ratchet up a few of the pay raises approved by the House.

State police and corrections officers would see an 8.5 percent pay increase instead of 6.5 percent.

The Martinez administration had argued the House budget did not do enough to address public safety, a priority amid rising crime rates.


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