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House budget plan on the move

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SANTA FE (AP) — A budget proposal to increase spending on public education and state government programs by $280 million next year is heading to the House for consideration.

The Appropriations and Finance Committee approved the measure Thursday on a 10-7 party-line vote.

Republicans opposed the measure, saying it lacks money for too many of GOP Gov. Susana Martinez’s education initiatives and shrinks the state’s cash reserves.

The committee vote foreshadows a likely partisan split over the budget in the House. Democrats will need to unify their ranks to muster the votes to approve the measure.

The proposed budget would allocate $6.2 billion for schools, colleges and programs ranging from prisons to health care in the fiscal year that starts in July. The measure would increase spending by 4.8 percent over the current state budget.

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