New Mexico governor signs solvency bills

stockimg NM Governor Susanna Martinez

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – The governor of New Mexico has signed legislation that would help address a major state budget shortfall by closing tax loopholes and tapping into reserves from a tobacco settlement fund.

Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday her approval of two bills passed by the Legislature in a special session to help address a nearly $600 million operating budget deficit.

New Mexico’s budget shortfall is linked to a downturn in energy markets that has taken a bite out of taxes and royalties from oil and natural gas and sent shock waves through the economy.

The bill to close tax loopholes will should save the state $10 million this year and $27 million the next. Transfers from the $220 million tobacco settlement fund will help shore up the state general fund temporarily.

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