New Mexico eyes stashing away more oil money for future

New Mexico

FILE – In this Nov. 14, 2019, file photo New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, talks at the Randall Davey Audubon Center on the outskirts of Santa Fe, N.M. Government income in New Mexico is expected to outpace spending obligations by nearly $800 million for the coming fiscal year, a result of the continued oil boom. Economists from three state agencies and the Legislature’s budget office delivered a twice-annual revenue forecast to a panel of lawmakers Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Leading lawmakers in New Mexico are recommending a 6.5% increase in state general fund spending that stashes away some oil and natural gas revenue in trust funds to ensure future spending on early childhood education initiatives.

The Legislative Finance Committee recommended a $464 million increase in sustained spending to about $7.5 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Another $325 million would be set aside for endowments to underwrite early childhood schooling.

The endowment plan is supported by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Pay increases are scheduled for public school teachers and state employees under the budget proposal.

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