New Mexico Senate debates spending hike for law enforcement - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: newswest9.com |

New Mexico Senate debates spending hike for law enforcement

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Senate is debating a proposed $259 million increase in state spending aimed at public schools and law enforcement.

The $6.3 billion general fund spending plan for the coming fiscal year reached the Senate floor on Tuesday for discussion and a possible vote.

Recent amendments to the bill provide greater pay increases to state police, corrections officers and prosecutors, responding to pressure from GOP Gov. Susana Martinez.

A rebound in the oil and natural gas sectors is providing a fiscal windfall to the state after two years of austere budgeting.

Members of the Democrat-led Legislature have endorsed base-pay increases for teachers and state workers.

More money would go toward district attorneys, a space launch facility, tourism promotion and business subsidies. Spending increases also are geared toward expanding preschool.

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