Lawmakers Suggest Larger Budget Cuts

New Mexico – Legislators say spending cuts of at least 4 percent may be needed to plug a more than $400 million hole in the state budget.

Lawmakers and officials in Gov. Bill Richardson's administration held a closed-door meeting Thursday to consider how to solve a projected budget deficit this year.

The chairman of a House budget committee, Rep. Henry Kiki Saavedra, says legislators and the administration disagree over spending cuts.

Richardson has proposed 3 percent cuts, excluding public schools. Saavedra says lawmakers have asked the administration to consider budget reductions of 4 percent. Lawmakers also are looking at possible education cuts.

The goal of the talks is a deficit reduction agreement before a special legislative session expected next month.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.