Whispers We’re Hearing: 12% State Budget Increase, 5% Raise for State Employees…LFC, Gov Budget Recommendations Expected This Week.

This is traditionally the week during which New Mexico’s Governor and its Legislative Finance Committee release their respective budget recommendations for state spending in the upcoming fiscal year (which will begin on July 1, 2023).

While there have been general comments from the executive branch about Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s priorities, specific appropriation amount requests have not yet been released. (The Candle will be filing a separate story about those priorities tomorrow.)

However, The Candle has received information from sources in state government regarding what legislative leaders are expected to recommend to the full legislature for appropriation considerations in the 60-day session set to begin on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, at noon.

Here are some of the key take-a-ways The Candle learned will likely be major components of the LFC Budget Recommendations that will be presented later this week:

  • Overall, the LFC budget will provide for a 12% increase for recurring state appropriations; 
  • In addition, LFC is recommending about $1.1 Billion in non-recurring “special” appropriations – such as for roads and other infrastructure and projects deemed important by individual legislators and administration officials; 
  • Provides about $1 Billion in tax cuts/rebates and possibly yet to be defined related tax reforms; 
  • Provides a 5% pay raise for state employees (instead of what had been a planned 4% raise); 
  • Provide $1 Million for a state employee wage/salary study; 
  • Certain Severance and Permanent Fund adjustments/transfers; 
  • A 6% to 7% increase in funding of K-12 Education; 
  • A 5% increase in funding to Higher Ed; 
  • About a $300 Million increase in Medicaid budgeting.