Amended New Mexico state budget seeks more to prosecutors

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Senate lawmakers in New Mexico are proposing greater spending on prosecutors in Albuquerque, judges and prison guards.

The Senate finance committee on Saturday recommended amendments to a House-approved general fund spending plan for the coming fiscal year. Rebounding energy prices and oil production are giving lawmakers leeway to boost spending.

The amended $6.3 billion budget proposal increases general fund spending by $259 million for the year starting July 1.

The district attorney’s office overseeing Albuquerque would receive a 16.5 percent operating budget increase, amid acute concerns about urban crime. A 2 percent base pay increase is proposed for all state employees.

State police, prison guards and parole officers would get a 6.5 percent pay increase. The plan directs $45 million to prevent the collapse a giant cavern underneath Carlsbad.

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