NM Gov. Blasts Budget Plan

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson has criticized the deficit reduction package New Mexico lawmakers sent him Friday to repair a $650 million shortfall in the budget.

The governor says the cuts to state agencies are excessive and could result in layoffs and reduced services.

He said he will get input from the public and state workers in deciding whether to veto any part of it.

Lawmakers approved the deficit reduction plan before they ended their seven-day special legislative session.

It included spending cuts of $253 million this year in schools and colleges and state programs.

State agencies would be trimmed at least 2 percent, some by 4 percent. Those directly under the governor would take a much bigger hit, 7.6 percent.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.