Democratic state legislative leaders are citing low morale among state workers and calling for salary increases.
The Albuquerque Journal reports Luciano 'Lucky' Varela, a Representative from Santa Fe, plans to meet with Governor Susana Martinez's administration prior to the state's 60 day legislative session that starts this month. Varela says money that was intended for workers' salaries was instead used by the Governor for expenses and contracts with outside companies.
The Governor's office says the use of funding for other agencies is not unusual. The number of rank-and-file state workers is down 13 percent since 2008 when former Governor Bill Richardson imposed a freeze on new hires. Meanwhile, 20 percent of classified positions in state government are not filled.
Unions have also weighed in in support of raises for state workers.