The New Mexico State Board of Finance has approved an across-the-board 3.2% budget cut for state agencies proposed by Gov. Bill Richardson to help alleviate a $200 million revenue shortfall in fiscal 2011.
The $150 million saved by the reductions would cut spending for almost every state agency and program. The only exceptions are Medicaid and programs to support the developmentally disabled.
Richardson said the remaining shortfall of $50 million would be eliminated with federal stimulus funds and state cash reserves.
The cuts initially would have affected $75 million in state aid to public education, but the Democratic governor ordered the Department of Finance to continue allocations at the budgeted level until local districts begin receiving federal funds from the $26 billion jobs bill passed by Congress last week.
"In light of this unexpected federal funding for teachers, it makes no sense to force school districts to cut budgets now and disrupt the upcoming school year," Richardson said.
New Mexico is expected to receive $65 million for public education from the bill.