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Gov. Martinez unveils $6.1 billion spending plan, opposes across-the-board state employee pay hikes

Gov. Susana Martinez rolled out a $6.1 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year today that includes “targeted” pay raises for about one-third of the state’s workforce.

However, the first-term Republican governor voiced opposition to a legislative proposal to give broad-based salary increases (of at least 1.5 percent) to state employees.

“Small, across-the-board increases do nothing to reform our broken pay classification system,” Martinez said at a news conference at a Santa Fe elementary school.

In all, the governor’s spending plan for the coming year would boost recurring state spending by about $179 million — or 3 percent — from this year’s level. It also calls for more than $100 million in “one-time” spending, in order to shore up the state’s cash-strapped lottery scholarship program and other areas.

Much like the legislative budget proposal, which was released last week, much of the new spending in Martinez’s plan would be on public and higher education.

The two plans differ, however, on exactly how some of that money would be spent and how much authority local school boards would have to implement spending decisions.

Both budget plans will be considered during the upcoming legislative session, which begins Jan. 21.

Check tomorrow’s Journal for more information.