NM Budget Update

New Mexico – Lawmakers in recession-wracked New Mexico who are trying to wrap up a special legislative session gave final approval to several deficit reduction bills and moved closer to deciding how much to cut schools and state agencies.

They're trying to fill a $650 million hole in this year's $5.5 billion state budget.

The House late Thursday voted 37-31 for a bill that cuts $257 million from state agencies and public schools and colleges. The cuts ranged from 2 percent to 7.6 percent.

However, the measure softens the blow to public schools by using other revenue, including federal stimulus funds, to replace state money.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.