New Mexico Gov.-elect Susana Martinez has asked state agencies, boards, and commissions to give her proposals that would cut spending in the state's fiscal 2012 budget by 10% of 2011 expenditures.
Martinez, a Republican, said the elimination of low-priority efforts could help reduce a potential $450 million revenue shortfall next year.
The requested cuts by the new governor, who will take office in early January, did not include higher education, the judicial system, or the budgets of elected state officials.
Martinez must submit her fiscal 2012 budget recommendations to the Legislature by Jan. 10. The fiscal year begins July 1.
Danny Diaz, a spokesman for Martinez, said the proposed spending cuts are not necessarily an indication that programs will be eliminated in next year's budget.
"Gov.-elect Martinez believes it is important that state government look for ways to become more efficient, and setting priorities is part of that process," Diaz said. "This portion of the review ensures agencies are thinking critically about how to best spend taxpayer dollars and gives them input into which programs should be prioritized."
Martinez intends to protect public education and basic health care spending from cuts, Diaz said, but the incoming governor is opposed to balancing the budget by raising taxes.
A 10% spending cut would fill the $215 million revenue shortfall expected by legislative budget specialists, but not the $450 million revenue shortfall predicted by outgoing Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson.
The current state general fund budget is $5.2 billion, of which 60% goes to public education and Medicaid.