SANTA FE – New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is describing a House-approved budget as soft on crime in a push to increase salaries for state police, corrections officers, prosecutors and public defenders.
The Senate Finance Committee on Monday was preparing amendments to a $6.3 billion state general fund spending plan for the coming fiscal year.
Democratic Finance Committee Chairman John Arthur Smith of Deming says legislative leaders understand the need to increase law enforcement and judiciary salaries. Corrections officers, state police and district attorneys would receive a 6.5 percent pay bump under the House-approved budget.
The bill falls short of the GOP governor’s recommended spending on Albuquerque-area prosecutors amid acute concerns about urban crime. Smith says budget priorities from House lawmakers who are running for re-election take precedent over the outgoing governor.