New state Senate proposal cuts K-12 public education by $150 million


The New Mexico state Senate has planned to advance a new price range situation which would cut state government deeper than any other plans.

The proposal, Senate Bill 15, would reduce state agencies by $ 314 million, including a 6 percent cut to public education.

On Monday morning, the Senate Committee on Committees ruled the bill “germane” on a 6-two vote — meaning the panel agreed that the bill is relevant to Gov. Bill Richardson’s proclamation, which sets the agenda for the unique legislative session.


The proposal likely will antagonize Richardson, who for weeks had mentioned he wanted no cuts to K-12 school funding, but on Friday agreed to take into account $ 40 million in cuts as long as they cost-saving measures do not hurt classroom instruction.


Amongst other things, it would reduce K-12 public education funding by far more than $ 140 million, according to a spreadsheet offered to state lawmakers. K-12 education accounts for roughly 40 % of the state’s $ five.two billion spending budget.


Richardson spokesman Gilbert Gallegos stated Monday he would not comment on the Senate proposal.

No consensus on the program

“I’m not voting for anything without other choices,” 1 of the dissenters to the bill, Sen. Carlos Cisneros, D-Questa, told his colleagues on the Committee on Committees.

Cisneros mentioned he opposed the bill on its merits simply because Richardson has prohibited the Legislature from contemplating tax increases in the specific legislative session to address this year’s $ 650 million budgetary shortfall.

“You can’t do this if your hands are tied,” Cisneros had stated just just before the meeting.

Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, mentioned the new proposal reflects the worsening economic reality facing New Mexico. The state’s revenues continue to sag, which means even if state lawmakers approve a budgetary fix, it likely will worsen. That might imply state lawmakers would have to address this year again in the normal January legislative session or — in a worst-case scenario — have another big shortfall to take care of after the 2010 spending budget year ends June 30.

“It’s painful as hell, but it reduces the dilemma for us a little” in the next spending budget year,” Smith stated of the new proposal.

In addition to cutting public education, the bill would trim larger education by practically $ 52 million.

It also would trim the low-income wellness insurance system identified as Medicaid by $ 14 million. The corrections department, meanwhile, would take a $ 16.5 million hit whilst the Department of Overall health would lose $ 10.four million, the spreadsheet shows.