The Associated Press August 11, 2010, 11:29AM ET

Federal funds will shore up New Mexico budget

Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., says federal lawmakers have approved legislation that will help New Mexico close its budget gap by $191 million.

Bingaman says the measure passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday after being approved last week in the Senate. It goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Under the proposal, New Mexico will receive $126 million through Medicaid and $65 million for New Mexico public schools. Bingaman says the federal funds will free up state dollars and curb the likelihood of layoffs in school districts.

Financial forecasts have shown the state facing a shortfall of more than $200 million for the fiscal year that started July 1.

The shortfall has been caused by lower-than-expected revenues.

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