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Sun Aug 21, 2016, 12:42 AM

Governor calls Legislature back to fill budget hole

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez announced a long-anticipated special session of the Legislature on Thursday ó a session made necessary by the state governmentís severe budget shortfalls, mainly attributed to an equally severe drop in oil and gas prices.

The shortfall for fiscal year 2016, which ended June 30, is estimated to be $130 million to $135 million, with more solid numbers expected next week. If that trend continues, estimates for the fiscal year 2017 shortfall begin at well over $300 million. The Legislative Finance Committee predicted the need for an eventual special session as early the last days of the regular session in March. They have requested that Martinez call lawmakers back to Santa Fe with increased urgency in recent weeks.

Martinez did not specify a date for the special session, just that she expected it would be in September.

District 28 Democratic state Sen. Howie Morales, who sits on the Legislative Finance Committee, told the Daily Press on Thursday that parts of the governorís announcement leave him concerned.

Read more: http://www.scdailypress.com/site/2016/08/19/gov-calls-legislature-back-to-fill-budget-hole/

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