Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Smith: we need to cut $550 million

Seems like the true budget deficit number really is a moving target. Sen. John Arthur Smith, D-Deming, said today lawmakers have a plan to cut $550 million from this year's state budget.

"As the branch of government with the responsibility to appropriate funds, the legislature must take a responsible and even more painful position on this budget crisis," Smith, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement.

That's a big jump from the $444 million Gov. Bill Richardson has proposed cutting.

According to the statement from budget negotiators who met today at the Capitol, "while the official revenue estimate pegs the shortfall at $433 million for the current fiscal year, Smith and other legislators believe the gap could grow to $550 million because corporate income and personal income tax collections as well as gross receipts tax collections continue to be lower than estimated earlier this year. Making less drastic spending cuts now will simply delay the inevitable and would make it more difficult for agencies to absorb subsequent budget cuts because less time remains in the fiscal year," the legislators said.

Stay tuned. Still no word on the date for the special session in which lawmakers are supposed to make these cuts. . .

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