State budget fails in NM House on tie vote

From - SANTA FE, N.M. —A proposed budget providing $6 billion for public education and state government next year has failed in the House on a tie vote. Republicans were joined by one Democrat - Rep. Sandra Jeff of Crownpoint - in opposing the measure on Friday.
     The 34-34 vote will force Democrats to regroup and potentially revamp portions of the budget. Two Democrats are absent this session because of health problems.
     Republicans objected that the measure didn't fund a number of the governor's educational initiatives, including merit pay for teachers. Before the final vote, Democrats rejected a GOP attempt to revamp the spending plan to shift more money to Martinez-backed programs.
     The budget proposed to increase spending on public education and government programs by 4.8 percent or $280 million next year. More