House Appropriations and Finance has passed the state budget bill. It features a $239.3 million or 4.2 percent increase over last year's state budget.

Here's the executive summary breakdown for Higher Education
HB2 appropriates $786.2 million for higher education, $28.5 million or 3.8 percent above FY13. HB2 advances the move to performance funding with $10.5 million for course completion, $9 million for degree and certificate completion and $21 million for FY13 performance funding carried forward. Categorical funding for higher ed increases $5 million with increases for health sciences, agriculture extension, athletics and compensation for all research and public service projects.

HB2 appropriates $35.5 million for a one percent salary increase for all public employees...Also included is $35.5 million to reverse a 1.5 percent retirement swap for all public employees ... and $15.8 million for schools and higher ed for a 0.75 percent employer contribution increase for retirement.

In a breakdown, we find UNM I&G; up 3.5 percent and HSC I&G; up 2.3 percent.

There is still a long journey through both houses, or "the valleys of votes" as the Journal's John Robertson calls them.

ERB solvency goes before both finance committees this afternoon.

Susan McKinsey, Office of Government and Community Relations