NM lawmakers OKs budget despite veto threat

Posted at: 03/13/2013 2:15 PM
By: BARRY MASSEY Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The Democratic-controlled Legislature is sending a $5.9 billion state budget proposal to Republican Gov. Susana Martinez despite her threat to veto it.

The House voted 37-33 on Wednesday to give final approval to the budget by agreeing to a Senate-passed version of the measure.

The governor is particularly unhappy that lawmakers didn't fund a proposed pilot program of merit pay for high-performing teachers. Martinez also wants Democrats to approve business tax cuts she's proposed.

The House had provided $3 million for merit pay for teachers, but the Senate-passed budget earmarked $2 million for stipends for experienced teachers agreeing to move to a struggling school.

The Legislature ends on Saturday. If the budget is vetoed and there's no government financing deal, a special legislative session could be required later this year.

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