Gov. signs budget, pension solvency and capital outlay

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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez talks to members of the military and veterans before signing House Bills 247 and 180 along with Senate Bill 574 at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial Tuesday morning. The bills will help military members and veterans. Tuesday, Mar. 26, 2013. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal.)

On her last day to act on bills approved during the final frenzy of this year’s legislative session, New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed into law several high-profile measures.

After closely scrutinizing the measure, Martinez announced she has signed a proposed solvency fix for the Public Employees Retirement Association, which covers roughly 86,000 government workers and retirees.

The governor previously signed a separate solvency measure for the state’s other large public retirement system, the Educational Retirement Board.

In addition, Martinez signed a $5.9 billion budget for the upcoming year and left intact a 1 percent pay hike for state workers, including teachers. That pay hike will mark the first base salary increase for state employees since 2008.

In all, the budget will increase state spending for the coming year by about $235 million, or roughly 4.2 percent, according to the Governor’s Office.

Martinez did use her line-item veto authority to axe about $23 million in proposed spending, most of which would have gone into a higher education endowment fund. Instead, that money will now be available to help the state absorb federal budget cuts.

In other bill action, the Republican governor signed off on a capital outlay package that includes about $218 million worth of statewide infrastructure projects. Those projects will be funded through state severance tax bonds.

See story links below for all other bill action by the governor.

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