Disparity has emerged between two state spending plans announced recently by the governor and a legislative panel in anticipation of the lawmaking session that begins on Jan. 21. The Legislative Finance Committee plan calls for a total state budget of $6.15 billion in the 2015 fiscal year, a 4.3 percent increase in state spending over the 2014 fiscal year and an across-the-board raise for state workers. The proposal from Gov. Susana Martinez calls for $6.07 billion in state spending, an increase of 3 percent that doesn’t factor in a raise for most state workers, the governor’s office says. But the differences aren’t uncommon. They happen each time the state government takes on this task. Next, the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Republican governor will have to hash out an agreement during the 30-day legislative session.
Additional points of contention between the two plans include deciding which state employees need a raise (the legislative plan calls for a 1.5 percent pay raise to all state workers while Martinez' targets certain state employees for raises) along with education spending (both plans call for increasing spending but differ on how to spend that money). Check out SFR's special legislative preview next week for more details. (Justin Horwath)