Published: 2:12 pm, Thu. May. 25th, 2017Updated: 2:10 pm
The Republican governor issued a statement by email Thursday saying that she is “pleased that we were able to come to an agreement on the budget.”
The Democratic-led legislature delivered a collection of tax and savings measures aimed at filling a budget shortfall for the fiscal year starting July 1. The governor has the long weekend to act on legislation that would reinstate funding to the Legislature and state universities that she vetoed earlier this year.
The budget can be narrowly balanced with the approval of a bill to suspend infrastructure projects and use severance tax bonds to shore up state finances. Martinez says she supports the measure.
The Legislature is recessing for the long weekend after delivering a collection of tax proposals and other measures aimed at filling a budget shortfall for the upcoming fiscal year.
Lawmakers plan to return to the state Capitol on Tuesday afternoon.
Lawmakers are trying to resolve a budget crisis linked to a downtown in oil prices and a weak local economy, and restore $765 million in state spending that was vetoed by the governor.
The governor has said she’s confident funding can be restored for higher education but she has voiced opposition to tax hikes without any meaningful tax reform.
A tax hike on gasoline was approved by the Legislature despite that opposition.
The state House and Senate gave final approval Thursday to tax increase on gasoline and diesel of 5 cents per gallon and a $55 registration fee on interstate freight trucks. Proceeds would help rebuild depleted general fund reserves and pay for road maintenance and construction.
Martinez vetoed similar tax proposals in April and has vowed to do it again. She has denouncing gasoline taxes in particular as a burden on working families. All Republicans on the Senate committee voted against the tax increases.
A bill that would impose new taxes on online retail sales and nonprofit hospitals was also approved by the Legislature.
It was unclear whether Republican Gov. Susana Martinez would sign the bill.
The legislation also would create a new state rainy day fund from oil and natural gas proceeds for use during future fiscal emergencies, and suspend contributions to a legislative retirement account to conserve state funds.
A proposal to overhaul New Mexico’s sales tax was blocked by Democratic lawmakers and will not be voted on during the special session.
A House panel voted 6-5 along party lines to end consideration of the Republican-backed bill to do away with a variety of tax breaks and lower overall tax rates.
Democratic lawmakers say the tax reforms were drawn up hastily and could undermine state revenues without further study.