New Mexico attorney general raises budget concerns

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says budget recommendations from the governor’s office and Legislature would result in reduced services and possibly layoffs at his agency.

Balderas said Monday that spending recommendations by the governor and Legislature for the fiscal year starting July 1 would make it difficult for the Attorney General’s Office to fulfill statutory obligations. He says it also would become more difficult to collect damages in court and pursue litigation linked to water rights, consumer protection issues, environmental violations and internet crimes.

Budget pressures are mounting at the agency because of shrinking balances in a consumer settlement fund.

New Mexico lawmakers are wrestling with efforts to close a general fund deficit for the current fiscal year amid a downturn in the oil sector and shrinking tax revenues.

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