Regional
7:53 am
Thu February 21, 2013

NM House Set To Debate State Budget

New Mexico lawmakers are ready to tackle a must-do assignment for the 60-day legislative session.

The House is expected today to debate a state budget proposal that will allocate nearly $5.9 billion next year for government programs and public education.

The measure will increase state spending by $239 million or slightly more than 4 percent.

About $35 million is provided for 1 percent pay raises for state workers and educators and 3 percent for state police. It will be the first across-the-board salary increase for public employees since 2008.

The proposed budget will increase spending $22 million on early childhood initiatives, including pre-kindergarten, child care assistance to low-income families and a program extending the school year for students in kindergarten through third grade in schools serving high-poverty areas.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.