New Mexico Legislature races clock to fix budget shortfall

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico lawmakers have until Saturday to resolve efforts to raise new money to sustain public school budgets and state agency services in response to a sustained slump in the state’s oil and natural gas sectors and a lackluster state economy.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives on Monday was combing through a Senate-approved plan to increase taxes revenues and fees by roughly $350 million to fill a budget shortfall for the coming fiscal year. Republican Gov. Susana Martinez opposes outright tax increases while emphasizing belt-tightening by state government and adjustments to retirement funds and capital spending.

Time is running out for a proposed minimum wage hike and a long list of policy reforms that would overhaul campaign finance disclosures, allow medically assisted suicide and block initiatives from the White House.

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