NM Legislative Committee Proposes Cuts To Balance Budget

New Mexico – A legislative panel proposes cutting salaries of state workers and educators by 2 percent next year to help balance the budget.

The Legislative Finance Committee on Monday released budget recommendations for spending more than $5 billion on public education and government programs.

The proposals represent a cut of almost 5 percent, or $278 million, from the state and federal money being spent in the current fiscal year.

The recommended spending for next year is about $200 million higher than expected revenues. That means lawmakers will have to raise taxes or find additional spending cuts to balance the budget.

The panel's proposals serve as a starting point for lawmakers in drafting next year's state budget in the legislative session that starts Jan. 19.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.