SOCORRO – The special legislative session ended Friday, Oct. 23, with several bills being passed in an attempt to find needed funds to help keep the state government running through the fiscal year, which ends June 30, 2010.
A total of nine bills were passed by both houses, including a budget bill which cuts more than $200 million in spending.
The budgetary shortfall this year is $650 million. Don Tripp, Socorro’s representative in the House, told the Mountain Mail “the best I can say is that we got through session.” “We put a band-aid on it to stop the hemorrhaging without hurting any agency or group,” Tripp said. “The impact is very minimal to any one group.”
One of the cuts was in education.
“The cuts in education was seven-tenths of one percent,” he said. “I think all school districts can move around in those parameters. We’ve given them leeway to use what they already have.”
Tripp said the largest concern was that cuts the legislature made were in non-recurring expenses, including current expenses, capital outlay, and “the rest in our savings accounts. Also we took next year’s capital that we anticipate getting in for next years budget.”
“This is all one-time money, which means we will be facing a 2010-2011 budget that is still out of balance in actual income versus expense,” he said. “We’ll be addressing all this more at length in January, and making more cuts in the governor’s unauthorized hires.”