Richardson Holds Public Meetings on Budget

New Mexico – Gov. Bill Richardson wants to hear from New Mexicans next week on their ideas for balancing the state budget.
Richardson will hold public office hours Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Santa Fe and Friday afternoon in Albuquerque. People and groups can sign up to meet with the governor for five minutes.
Richardson plans to call a special session of the Legislature next month to deal with a more than $400 million budget shortfall.
To help balance the budget, the governor has proposed cutting spending by 3 percent but exclude public schools from reductions. Lawmakers have suggested larger cutbacks that include education. A coalition of labor unions and advocacy groups recommend tax increases rather than cuts in government services.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.