Republican administration in New Mexico seeks spending cuts

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Concerns about New Mexico’s short-term cash reserves are taking center stage as state lawmakers await veto decisions by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez on a budget for the coming fiscal year.

Top finance officials under Martinez said Wednesday that a $102 million operating reserve cushion leaves the state perilously close to insolvency as the fiscal year comes to a close in June.

Martinez says she is preparing plans to possibly furlough state government workers as soon as April, and reduce service days at state museums, parks and motor vehicle offices.

Leading Democratic lawmakers are calling the governor’s reaction overblown and an unnecessary threat to state workers. Legislators have their own concerns about dwindling state cash as the federal government delays a $70 million payment on an oil and gas lease sale.