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Breaking: House committee approves $5.9B budget bill on 15-3 vote

SANTA FE, N.M. — A $5.9 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year is on its way to the House floor after being approved this morning in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

Members of the committee voted 15-3 in favor of the budget bill, with three first-term Democrats voting “no” due to concerns over education funding.

As currently crafted, the budget would increase state spending by roughly $239 million — or 4.2 percent — from this year’s spending levels. It would be the second straight year spending would increase, after three consecutive years of budget cuts. Nearly 44 percent of the total state spending would go toward public schools.

The budget also includes a 1 percent salary increase for state workers and teachers. Gov. Susana Martinez has publicly opposed that provision (you can read more about it here).

Meanwhile, it leaves about $19 million in projected “new” money available for tax cuts proposed by Martinez or other spending measures.

The bill is expected to be debated on the House floor Thursday.

Check back later for more updates.