Gov. Bill RIchardson's office just announced that the state will avoid additional furloughs by using stimulus money. The news comes as most state agencies face 3.2 percent budget cuts that start today. Many of the agencies told Richardson's office they weren't able to cut that much without furloughs or layoffs.
If not for the money, the governor's office said "more than 1,100 employees who deal with income support services would have had to take 2.5 furlough days; about 362 employees at state museums and monuments would have had to take 8 furlough days; and employees at the Alcohol & Gaming Division would have to take 4.5 furlough days."
Other money will help avoid furloughs or layoffs at all magistrate courts, three district courts and Metro Court in Albuquerque.
The administration continues to analyze agency spending plans as the state grapples with its budget crunch.
At the same time, Richardson seemingly has been a stimulus spending spree, allocating all kinds of cash given to him as discretionary spending from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Recent allocations have included juvenile justice programs, animal welfare projects, a Rio Rancho fire station and acequia projects.