New Mexico State Income Rises on Energy Rebound

January 26, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is receiving a windfall in government income as the oil industry comes roaring back, economists for the state told lawmakers on Thursday.

Revenue estimates were revised upward by $189 million for the current fiscal year and by $93 million for the coming year that starts July 1, largely due to rising oil prices combined with expanding production.

The new estimates give lawmakers more money to work with as they craft a spending plan for the coming year, and improve prospects for pay raises for teachers and state workers.

The Democrat-led Legislature and GOP Gov. Susana Martinez both have placed a high priority on increasing funding for the coming year to education, Medicaid, courts, law enforcement and economic development subsidies.

New Mexico is climbing out of fiscal crisis that last year prompted spending cuts at public universities and cherished programs such as the Special Olympics and local-farm produce at schools.

"It couldn't have happened at a better time for us in New Mexico to have these new dollars," said Democratic Rep. Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup., chairwoman of the House finance and appropriations committee.

In all, government income is expected to surpass current annual spending obligations by $292 million during the coming fiscal year.

Republican House majority leader Nate Gentry said the new money should factor into compensation proposals, especially for teachers.

In the meantime, state reserves are...

Read entire article at U.S. News & World Report.


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