NM Health Planning Group

New Mexico – One of Gov. Bill Richardson's executive branch agencies will help administer the New Mexico Health Policy Commission, which had its budget sharply reduced for the upcoming year.

The state Health Department announced Friday that it will provide support for the commission, which provides research and data for health policy planning.

The commission was established by law in 1991. The Legislature cut the commission's budget from about $811,000 this year to $156,700 in the 2011 fiscal year, which starts in July.

Transferring the functions of the commission to the Health Department was recommended earlier this year by a panel that Richardson formed to identify how to make government more efficient and reduce spending. Former Gov. Garrey Carruthers served as the panel's chairman.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.