Commission wants lawmakers to stop raiding fire protection fund

(Albuquerque-AP) -- State regulators want state lawmakers to
stop raiding New Mexico's fire protection fund.
The state Public Regulation Commission yesterday approved a
resolution saying all money deposited in the fund should be spent
on fire protection.
During the past five years, the Legislature and the governor
have taken 97-point-eight (m) million dollars from the fund.
The money has been used to help finance government programs such
as education, Medicaid and prisons.
About 95-point-one (m) million dollars in the fund was given to
fire departments and other fire-related programs during the same
time frame.
The fund was created by the Legislature in 1984.
It's intended to provide money to local fire departments for
operations and maintenance.
The fund is financed by a three percent tax on property and
vehicle insurance premiums.