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Gov passes $5.9B budget

March 19, 2013 • Local News

By most area legislators’ accounts, the 2013 state legislative session started slow and rushed to the finish, but in the end, things went the best they could have.

After a weekend of fast frenzy and heavy compromise, Gov. Susana Martinez said she will sign the $5.9 billion budget passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives and forgo a special session, following the Legislature’s approval, at the last possible minute, of a tax plan that will lower the state’s corporate income tax rate from 7.6 percent to 5.9 percent over the next five years.

Senate Minority Leader Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, said in a statement the plan will “send a message that if you come to this state, we are going to be on your side.” There were a number of problems that needed fixing this session, Ingle said, “and the Senate worked hard to tackle them.

“Some of the fixes will become law and some will need to be addressed at future sessions,” he said.

Two of the proposed fixes on the way to the governor’s desk are bills that would increase employee contributions of public educators and state employees to ensure pension solvency.

Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, said the plans may not be ideal “but unless we do something now, both funds would have been strapped for cash.”

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