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Budget bill stalls at Legislature on tie House vote

SANTA FE, N.M. — A proposed budget providing $6 billion for public education and state government next year has failed in the House on a tie vote.

Republicans were joined by one Democrat — Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint — in opposing the measure on Friday.

The 34-34 vote will force Democrats to regroup and potentially revamp portions of the budget. Two Democrats are absent this session because of health problems.

Republicans objected that the measure didn’t fund a number of the governor’s educational initiatives, including merit pay for teachers.

Before the final vote, Democrats rejected a GOP attempt to revamp the spending plan to shift more money to Martinez-backed programs.

The budget proposed to increase spending on public education and government programs by 4.8 percent or $280 million next year