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New Mexico rebuilds financial reserves after budget crisis

Jul 17, 2017

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A top finance official say New Mexico state government has a bigger financial cushion than anticipated. Finance and Administration Deputy Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke told a panel of lawmakers Monday that the state entered the fiscal year on July 1 with reserves equal to 5.3 percent of annual spending obligations, and expects to maintain a 3 percent cushion at the end the current fiscal year in June 2018. Estimates based on earlier revenue forecasts had the state nearly running out of cash by mid-2018, threatening the New Mexico's credit rating and its access to low borrowing costs on infrastructure projects. To shore up shaky state finances, the Democratic-led Legislature and Republican Gov. Susana Martinez agreed in May to tap into borrowed money from suspended infrastructure projects.