Friday, September 9, 2016

NM state colleges, universities could be prime targets in budget talks - Robert Nott, The New Mexican

Still reeling from financial cuts over the past year, public colleges and universities in New Mexico are bracing for more hardships as the state Legislature heads into a special session to deal with a gaping budget shortfall of up to $650 million. Their concerns are well founded, according to state lawmakers who say some consider higher education cuts among the easiest to make as the state faces a raft of difficult choices. “They are squirming real bad. They are feeling the pressure,” state Rep. Jimmie Hall, vice chairman of the Legislative Finance Committee, said of college leaders around the state. “I will be very blunt,” said Hall, an Albuquerque Republican. “Everybody who has talked to me — constituents, lobbyists, legislators and staff — has said, ‘Take it out of higher ed.’ ”

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