Gov. Susana Martinez has rolled out a $6.3 billion budget proposal for the coming year that, in most areas, does not differ substantially from a legislative plan released last week.
The Republican governor unveiled her spending plan at a Las Cruces elementary school. She said it targets public education and economic development, which were two primary themes of her re-election campaign.
With declining oil prices leading to a reduction in the projected amount of money available for state spending in the coming year, Martinez’s budget recommendation would increase spending levels by $141 million — or 2.3 percent — over this year’s levels.
If enacted, that would be the smallest annual budget growth since Martinez first took office in 2011.
“Financially, we are on solid ground,” Martinez said in her prepared remarks. “It just means we need to be cautious, monitor these (energy) prices regularly, and prioritize more and better.”
Like the Legislative Finance Committee budget recommendation, the Martinez spending plan calls for a hefty chunk of the increased state spending to go to New Mexico’s public school system — roughly $68 million of the $141 million in new spending.