SANTA FE -A House committee on Tuesday afternoon blocked a bill that would have restricted buyouts to university presidents and other well-paid employees of state agencies.

Only Rep. Sheryl Williams Stapleton voted to keep the bill alive. The rest of the House Labor and Human Resources Committee tabled it.

The proposal, House Bill 251, was sponsored by Republican Rep. Bill Rehm and Democratic Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, both of Albuquerque.

They targeted cases such as the buyout last year of New Mexico State University president Barbara Couture for $453,000. Couture, 64, already had another job in hand after her forced resignation by the university's board of regents.

The bill would have capped buyouts at $110,000 - the governor's salary - or the employee's annual salary if it was less.