5% teacher salary hike heads to New Mexico House for vote

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A panel of House legislators has endorsed a $7.6 billion general fund spending bill that increases teacher pay by 5% and salaries for state workers by 3%.

Republicans in the legislative minority say the increases may be unsustainable and result in government downsizing.

Democrats say new investments in education, infrastructure and health care are urgently needed.

An approved budget bill is due on the governor’s desk by Feb. 20.

Lawmakers are working with an estimated $800 million annual surplus because of record-setting oil production.

The budget proposal maintains roughly $2 billion in financial reserves.

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