A new financial forecast estimates about $285 million will be available in the next budget year for spending increases on state government programs, public education and to offset potential tax cuts.
Officials in Gov. Susana Martinez's administration outlined the revenue projections Monday to the Legislative Finance Committee during a meeting in Las Vegas.
If the Legislature and governor agree to put all $285 million into programs and services, that would allow a 4.6 percent increase in spending in the 2016 fiscal year, which begins next July.
Economic growth — particularly from strong oil production — is projected to boost revenue collections next year to $6.4 billion. That's $285 million more than the state is spending this year, and that amount represents what's available for budget increases next year.