New budget proposed by Gov. Martinez includes few pay raises

Updated: 01/06/2014 5:34 PM | Created: 01/06/2014 8:11 AM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A battle over the budget could be looming ahead between the Republican governor and leaders of the Democratic majority in the legislature, with those pay raises a critical issue. Democrats favor a pay hike of at least 1.5 percent for everybody who works for the state, including schoolteachers.

The budget proposal Gov. Susana martinez unveiled Monday afternoon is smaller than the one the Legislative Finance Committee rolled out last week, and she would only grant pay raises to certain state workers - about one third of the workforce. That would include corrections officers, State Police, Child Protective Services workers in the Children Youth and families Department, along with IT workers, health care providers and engineers.

"Small across-the-board increases do nothing to reform our broken salary compensation system," Gov. Martinez said. "They just shift this broken system upward a little bit."

Martinez said other state workers would get pay raises phased in over the next two years. She does favor raising beginning teacher pay from $30,000 a year to $33,000.

The governor's budget proposal calls for spending nearly $6.1 billion in the fiscal year that starts in July, an increase of about $170 million over the current budget. The LFC plan would increase state spending by almost $254 million.

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