Governor Susana Martinez designed a budget plan to close the state's funding shortfall, while sticking by her vow to avoid tax increases. The plan was announced Tuesday. It preserves funding for economic development and public safety, while deepening cuts at the Legislature and state universities.
It would also make state employees and educators chip in 3.5 percent more on their pension.
So, if someone makes $20,000 annually, their take home pay would be $700 less each year.
"We shouldn’t punish working families to make them pay for this budget deficit, but that’s exactly what we are doing. These are working families, plain and simple," said Miles Conway, a representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.
New Mexico has nearly exhausted operating reserves and is facing a $67 million general fund shortfall due to low oil and gas prices.
The governor's plan would hold spending at $6 billion next year.
The People, Power and Democracy project examines ethics, transparency and accountability in state government. It's a collaborative, multi-media partnership between KUNM-FM, New Mexico PBS, New Mexico In Depth and the New Mexico News Port. The project is funded by the Thornburg Foundation and by contributions from KUNM listeners.