SANTA FE (KRQE) - Just when it seemed like a balanced budget wouldn't make it to the governor's desk, the state House has decided to go with the original version on the public-employee retirement changes the Senate sent them a few days ago.
Legislators are in the home stretch with a little over a day left in this session. The approval of the retirement changes Thursday night is expected to save the state more than $100 million during the fiscal year that begins July 1 by increasing employee contributions.
The $5.4 billion budget will now head to Gov. Susana Martinez's desk for her signature.
The Senate had sent its version of a bill regarding state workers paying more into their pensions and saving the state money it would normally put in.
The House initially turned the Senate's version down because both parties saw problems with the bill but reconsidered and approved the original version with a 35-34 vote.
Public employees will pay an additional 1.75 percent into their pensions for the next two years, unless the state revenue jumps by the midpoint of fiscal year 2012. That contribution is in addition to a 1.5 percent increase which will continue for another year.
The House is also sending a bill that will cut spending 2.7 percent next year and the measure which will cap film production subsidies saving the state $23 million to spend on education, health care and public safety.
The governor will have until April to decide if she'll sign or veto the budget. She also can line-item veto individual spending items.
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