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New Mexico legislators seek billion-dollar budget boost


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A $1 billion boost to state spending on health care for the poor, teacher salaries, environmental regulation and policing has arrived on the New Mexico House floor for debate.

Lead House budget negotiator and Democratic Rep. Patricia Lundstrom of Gallup says the spending plan uses a surge in state government income to improve education, bolster public safety and spur economic growth in a state with the highest rate of childhood poverty in the American West.

House Republican emphasized their support for companion tax cuts. Legislators clashed on the Senate floor over a Democrat-sponsored bill to reduce climate-warming pollution from the transportation sector by establishing a low-carbon fuel standard.