New Mexico Legislature provides spending recommendations

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The legislative committee that drafts the New Mexico state budget is recommending new cuts in agency spending for next year to avoid a shortfall.

Budget recommendations announced on Wednesday by the Legislative Finance Committee would trim general fund spending by 0.4 percent to $6.05 billion.

Funding for public schools would decrease by $22.5 million without cutting per-pupil funding to school districts, and would bolster some efforts to improve early literacy.

The recommendations would increase spending through the Children, Youth and Families Department for home visits and a pre-kindergarten program. The committee is calling for a small funding increase to the Corrections Department, and a slight decrease at the Public Safety Department.

The committee says lawmakers still need to plug an $85 million shortfall for the current budget year.