New Mexico Budget Cuts Education Spending, But Increases Medicaid Spending

New Mexico – Key provisions of a $5.4 billion budget, as signed into law on Friday by Gov. Susana Martinez:

About $2.4 billion for public schools, other education programs and the Public Education Department in the 2012 fiscal year, which starts July 1. Education will be cut about $61 million, or 2.5 percent.

About $718 million for colleges, universities and the Higher Education Department, a reduction of nearly $55 million or 7 percent. According to the Legislative Finance Committee, the cuts for colleges and schools reflect the government lowering its contributions into public employee pensions.

About $986 million for Medicaid, including services for the developmentally disabled. That's an increase of about $22 million or 2.3 percent. Medicaid provides health care to more than 500,000 low-income New Mexicans and children without health insurance.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.