SANTA FE, NM (KRQE) - Both the House and Senate have passed their own budget proposals, but now they have to agree on what to send to Gov. Susana Martinez.
House Appropriations and Finance Committee Chairman Henry "Kiki" Saavedra, D-Albuquerque, said the House and Senate versions are very similar.
"As far as Senate Finance and House Appropriations, we are in agreement," said Saavedra.
The Senate proposal included about $4 million that will come from charging cities and counties a fee for handling their gross receipt taxes. The extra funding will help prop up education and health care programs.
Senators debated past midnight Tuesday to pass the employee-retirement swap and film incentives. State workers, including teachers, will pay 1.5 percent more into their pensions for two more years. Additionally, they will contribute another 1.75 percent for one year. A second year may be forthcoming if revenue is lower than expected.
Senators agreed the film industry incentive will remain at 25 percent with a $50 million cap. Production payouts will be spread out up to three years. The House kept the cap at $45 million.
"That causes some problems for us in getting the $25 million we credited from the film subsidy," said Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Albuquerque.
Senators said trimming the film industry program will save $23 million instead, about $2 million short of the governor's goal. But Saavedra said this is the best budget legislators could formulate with the money they had.
"We've been dealing with (cuts) for three years," said Saavedra. "For two years, we cut close to $1 billion. The governor said no new taxes, and without taxes, you can't satisfy everybody."
The Legislature has three days left to agree on a budget to send to Gov. Martinez.
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