Contact: Erika Martinez
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2014
Senate Majority Office Responds to Gov.’s Budget Proposal
Santa Fe, NM – Today, Governor Susana Martinez announced her spending recommendations for next fiscal year’s budget. Her $6.07 billion proposal is about $80 million less than the $6.15 billion recommendations proposed by the Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) last week.
LFC proposed pay raises for all state and education workers, while Martinez’s recommendations only call for raises to be given to a certain percentage of state workers and merit pay for educators. Merit pay still continues to be an issue that many Democrats are determined to oppose since its effectiveness in distinguishing quality teachers from less effective teachers has not been demonstrated.
“The Governor has proposed spending approximately $80 million less than LFC’s recommendations,” said Senate Majority Floor Leader Michael Sanchez (D-29-Bernalillo &Valencia). “That amount can go a long way to increase teacher and state employee salaries that have been flat since 2008. The money could also help continue to bolster the lottery scholarship program and much needed expansion of early childhood programs. These are all education-related, which is the foundation for economic development.”
“By and large the executive and legislature are starting out the session with very similar priorities,” said Senate Majority Whip Tim Keller (D-17-Bernalillo). “As we have in the past, the Democratic legislature will produce a balanced budget that reflects the priorities of our diverse state. This year the Governor wants to continue to build up discretionary cash that can be used to reward schools and teachers who follow the PED playbook. The Democrats believe that rather than picking favorites around the state, these funds should be fairly accounted for at the local level, where locally elected school boards can decide where funds are needed in their community.”
To view a full description of the Governor’s recommendations, click here.