The New Mexico House Appropriations and Finance Committee has sent to the full House a $6 billion budget for fiscal 2009 that increases spending by 6% over fiscal 2008.


About half of the $347 million increase will go to state colleges and universities, with expanded appropriations for health and human services programs.


The Department of Transportation will get about $47 million for highway maintenance from a one-time appropriation of $150 million of money from the state’s surplus. Another $14.5 million will supplement the state’s Medicaid program, which provides health care for uninsured children, the disabled, and low-income adults.


The legislative budget appropriates $2.6 billion for public schools, an increase of 5.2%, or $125 million. The higher education system will get $883 million, which includes 2% salary increases for faculty and staff.


The House is expected to begin debate on the budget this week.

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