House OKs $5.9B state budget

Posted at: 02/21/2013 4:31 PM
Updated at: 02/21/2013 5:47 PM
By: The Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - Republican Gov. Susana Martinez's administration will receive money to establish a merit pay system for teachers under a proposed state budget approved by the House.
    
Lawmakers voted 53-16 on Thursday for the plan to allocate nearly $5.9 billion next year for government programs and public education.
    
The budget, which goes to the Senate, will increase spending by $239 million or about 4 percent.
    
About $35 million is provided for 1 percent pay raises for state workers and educators and 3 percent for state police. It will be the first across-the-board salary increase for public employees since 2008.
    
Several Democrats objected to the budget because it provides $3 million to establish a merit pay system to reward high-performing teachers. Martinez had requested $11 million.

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