Federal Stimulus Helps New Mexico Dodge Furloughs

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson is allocating more than $1 million in federal economic stimulus money to head off furloughs of state and judicial workers.

Richardson announced Wednesday that $925,000 will go to executive branch agencies to protect workers and $450,000 is for courts, including district courts in Bernalillo, Curry and San Juan counties.

Budget cuts of 3.2 percent are being implemented starting Wednesday to close a shortfall in New Mexico's more than $5 billion budget.

Richardson said more than 300 workers at state museums and monuments would have been forced to take eight unpaid furlough days without the federal money.

Employees at the alcohol and gaming division and income support workers at the Human Services Department also faced potential furloughs.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.