New Mexico – The House has approved a $5.6 billion budget bill and a package of tax increases that are the largest in more than 20 years.
Lawmakers endorsed bills for an income surtax and to raise the gross receipts by a half-cent. Those will raise $300 million next year to balance the budget.
The proposed budget will cut spending slightly more than 1 percent below this year's levels. The budget does not require salary cuts for public employees but eliminates hundreds of positions in state government, some of which are vacant.
The budget and tax measures go to the Senate for consideration.
The House rejected a proposal that would have generated $90 million by eliminating an income tax deduction for some New Mexico residents.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.