State budget clears House vote, moves to Senate

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- The state budget passed in the House Wednesday. It will now move to the Senate for consideration.

The $7.39 billion spending plan includes raises for state employees and teachers.

It also includes a 5% increase to public education.

The money would be used to extend learning days. The state would to like to extend the school year.

The state is counting on a possible $1 billion in federal funding to help make classrooms more COVID-safe. The plan hinges on congressional approval.

Despite declining enrollment, higher education is poised to get a $23 million boost.

Funding levels for the Opportunity Scholarship will remain the same, at $5 million.

But some Republicans questioned the spending plan.

"Our education budget has about a 5.5% increase when very few of our children are in school. That’s troubling on a couple of fronts," said Rep. Jim Townsend. "Having a pay increase, as you well know, I’m totally supportive of adequate pay for state employees, I have spoken out on that on multiple occasions at a time of such unemployment, I think that was about $63 million in the budget that I personally found troubling."


The state expects a 10% enrollment boost in Medicaid. The budget plans for $64 million additional dollars for that.

The Department of Health would get a 3.4% boost.

Economic Development

This budget includes a Pandemic Relief Package that totals about $400 million.

The budget would replenish that Unemployment Insurance Fund with $325 million.

Five million dollars would be used for tourism marketing.


The budget also adds about $300 million to fix state and local roads, and $30 million to expand broadband internet access.

Next Steps

The budget is not a done deal.

It will head over to the Senate, where adjustments could be made.

After the House and Senate agree on the adjustments, it will go to the governor for a signature.