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New Mexico hospitals seek new financial support

March 4, 2022 GMT
FILE- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs one of a suite of education bills that will increase teacher salaries and benefits on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Grisham signed a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, of the Sandia Pueblo, that will set a minimum salary for teachers certified to teach eight tribal languages taught in public schools and spoken by members of the state's 23 tribes and pueblos. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
FILE- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs one of a suite of education bills that will increase teacher salaries and benefits on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Grisham signed a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, of the Sandia Pueblo, that will set a minimum salary for teachers certified to teach eight tribal languages taught in public schools and spoken by members of the state's 23 tribes and pueblos. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
FILE- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs one of a suite of education bills that will increase teacher salaries and benefits on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Grisham signed a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, of the Sandia Pueblo, that will set a minimum salary for teachers certified to teach eight tribal languages taught in public schools and spoken by members of the state's 23 tribes and pueblos. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
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FILE- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs one of a suite of education bills that will increase teacher salaries and benefits on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Grisham signed a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, of the Sandia Pueblo, that will set a minimum salary for teachers certified to teach eight tribal languages taught in public schools and spoken by members of the state's 23 tribes and pueblos. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)
1 of 3
FILE- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs one of a suite of education bills that will increase teacher salaries and benefits on Tuesday, March 1, 2022, in Santa Fe, N.M. On Thursday, March 3, 2022, Grisham signed a bill, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, of the Sandia Pueblo, that will set a minimum salary for teachers certified to teach eight tribal languages taught in public schools and spoken by members of the state's 23 tribes and pueblos. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Hospital executives on Thursday urged New Mexico’s governor to sign off on a health care spending proposal that would devote $171 million to shoring up labor costs at hospitals and nursing homes.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until March 9 to vet an $8.5 billion spending plan from the Democratic-led Legislature for the fiscal year starting on July 1. She can veto any portions of the budget.

In a public letter to the governor, the New Mexico Hospital Association describes financial and physical strain of the pandemic on hospital staff that has left nursing staffs depleted.

“Our challenges are sustaining the most precious resources, our people,” said the letter signed by chief executives from 25 hospitals across New Mexico.

Health care spending provisions passed by the Legislature in February would funnel $171 million toward labor costs at New Mexico hospitals.

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Health care executives also are lobbying for an $11 million increase to rates of reimbursement payments to hospitals through Medicaid, as well as $15 million to expand nursing educating programs.

The governor also is weighing whether to sign off on a $1,000 personal income tax credit for resident nurses who work full time.