Protest Over Possible Budget Cuts

Santa Fe – More than 1,000 people rallied at New Mexico's state Capitol to protest possible cuts for schools and government services to deal with a state budget deficit.

Public employee and educational unions organized Friday's rally to show support for raising taxes, rather than cutting budgets.

Many of those who spoke at the rally advocated rolling back personal income tax cuts that were enacted in 2003. However, Gov. Bill Richardson opposes that.

Public schools, colleges and state agencies could face 3.5 percent budget cuts and 2.5 percent salary reductions under a legislative proposal for eliminating an expected $650 million deficit this year.

The Legislature is to meet in a special session starting Oct. 17 to deal with the deficit.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.