NM Budget Gap Growing

New Mexico – New Mexico's budget problems keep getting bigger.

State Controller Anthony Armijo told legislators Monday the state likely will need to draw down its cash reserves more than expected possibly by $100 million to cover a budget shortfall in the just-ended 2009 fiscal year.

Doing that will add to the difficulties facing lawmakers and Gov. Bill Richardson as they try to wipe out a more than $400 million deficit in the current budget year, which started in July.

More spending cuts and budget savings will be needed this year if the state wants to replenish the reserves after using them to fix the 2009 budget.

Administration officials say Armijo's estimate is speculative until a new revenue forecast is made next month.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.