Published Online: February 19, 2013

House panel OKs budget with 4% spending increase

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — State workers and educators will receive a 1 percent pay raise next year under a nearly $5.9 billion budget proposal that's heading to the House for debate.

The measure provides for a spending increase of $239 million or slightly more than 4 percent in the fiscal year starting in July.

The Appropriations and Finance Committee approved the budget on Tuesday with three Democrats opposing the measure because of concerns about proposed education spending. Republicans supported the bill.

GOP Gov. Susana Martinez said she was pleased the budget included money for some of her education initiatives but she cautioned that the bill still has a long journey ahead in the Legislature.

The measure allocates nearly $2.6 billion for public education next year, providing an increase of 4.6 percent.

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