Budget proposal from lawmakers includes $178M increase for education, Medicaid | KOB 4
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Budget proposal from lawmakers includes $178M increase for education, Medicaid

The Associated Press
January 05, 2018 06:22 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Leading New Mexico lawmakers are proposing a nearly 3 percent increase in state general fund spending that would go mainly to public school education, Medicaid health care, early childhood programs, courts and state police.

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The Legislative Finance Committee on Friday announced a proposal to increase general fund spending by $178 million for the coming fiscal year to nearly $6.3 billion.

The plan from the lead budget-writing committee in the Democrat-led Legislature would devote an additional $51 million to public schools, which rely on state funding for a majority of spending.

The proposed increase includes new money for salaries of all full-time teachers and for a program that extends the school year for some young students. Childcare and prekindergarten programs also would get a major financial boost.

The state would devote an additional $35 million to Medicaid health care for the poor and disabled, a multibillion-dollar program supported mostly by the federal government. An average pay increase of 1.5 percent is proposed for state employees.

Gov. Susana Martinez also revealed her proposed budget on Friday, focusing on economic growth and strengthening schools. 
               

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The Associated Press

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