Despite a special session earlier this year and budget cuts aimed at balancing the state budget, a new revenue estimate released Monday finds the state short $69 million in the current fiscal year.
Next year isn’t looking too good either.
“The challenge we have right now is we need ‘now’ money,” Sen. John Arthur Smith, the chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee, was quoted by the Albuquerque Journal as saying. “We’ve got a ton of work to do between now and the end of the legislative session.”
Budget cuts and news taxes are already being discussed. Gov. Susana Martinez, a Republican, and House Republicans insisted during the special session that there would be no new taxes. Without the votes to make a veto override possible, lawmakers instead approved widespread cuts.
But Democrats will retake control of the House and increase their margin of control in the Senate when the Legislature convenes in January for a 60-day session. Whether Democrats will try to force approval of new revenues instead of just additional cuts remains to be seen.
You can read the new revenue estimate here.