John Arthur Smith

New Mexico panel recommends more cuts to balance budget

A legislative panel that drafts the New Mexico state budget recommended new cuts Wednesday to avoid a shortfall in the coming fiscal year.

The Legislative Finance Committee called for a $26 million reduction in the $6 billion spending plan for the year beginning July 1.

The state is facing a $123 million gap that must be closed by new tax revenues, additional reductions in agency spending — or both.

"The committee struggled to protect vulnerable New Mexicans, public schools, public safety, and health care services without completely shutting down some state agencies," state Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, the committee chairman, said in a...