SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico's Legislative Council hasn't ruled out the possibility of suing Gov. Susana Martinez ahead of a potential special session of the Legislature. And family advocates are watching closely, hoping for a resolution that helps education in the state. Lawmakers passed a bipartisan financial plan that the governor signed - but only after removing every cent of higher education funding. She also vetoed House Bill 202, which would close tax loopholes for some businesses and make millions available to primary schools.
A progressive group is advocating for legislators to override Gov. Susana Martinez’s vetoes of portions of the budget and an entire tax package. The odds of veto overrides are slim. The bills passed the Senate with wide, bipartisan support but passed more narrowly on party lines in the House. New Mexico Voices for Children urged supporters to contact their legislators to override the vetoes, citing the zeroing-out of the entire higher education budget.
Like the Albuquerque Journal editorial board, we envision a New Mexico where the economy and quality of life are as wonderful as the scenery, cultural traditions and local food. We want a New Mexico where more people have the knowledge and skills needed to earn family-sustaining wages, where businesses are born and flourish, and where crime and drug use are a scourge of the past. We believe everyone is better off when no one is left behind. As optimists, we believe such a New Mexico is possible. As realists, we know it will take hard work and strategic investments.
Seven percent of births in New Mexico in 2014 were reportedly to mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, according to the KIDS COUNT data center. Smoking during pregnancy is one form of secondhand smoking and can cause a baby to be born early and have a low birth weight, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
Patrick "P.J." Munoz was 5 years old when he died on August 12, 1991, in Albuquerque. His father was charged in 1993 after investigators accused him of killing his son. Patrick would have turned 30 on May 5, said his uncle, Adam P. Munoz III. Munoz held a sign of his nephew's name and face during the annual Walk Against Child Abuse on Friday in Carlsbad, hoping to bring awareness to under-reported child abuse.
Editorial: Leading the nation in Medicaid births underscores once again NM’s need for education reform, economic development
It’s probably no surprise that the percentage of babies born into Medicaid families is higher in states with lower than average incomes. After all, Medicaid was designed in part to provide poor families with health care they could not otherwise afford. What is surprising – shocking in fact – is that while Medicaid pays for 47 percent of all births nationwide on average, it pays for 72 percent of the births in New Mexico, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on major health care issues domestically and globally.
New Mexico leads the nation in the percentage of babies born into Medicaid families – which can be taken as a reflection of the state’s high poverty rate or an indication that government here takes care of its own. According to figures from 2015, 72 percent of the births reported in New Mexico were paid for by Medicaid, a jointly funded federal-state health insurance program for low-income, disabled and other people who qualify.
SANTA FE, N.M. – Gov. Susana Martinez refused to sign the 2017 budget presented to her by New Mexico lawmakers at the end of the legislative session last week. Instead, she vowed to call everyone back in for a special session to amend it. Family advocates are worried that in the feud, the modest social service gains made in the budget will be lost.
Last week the New Mexico House of Representatives voted unanimously to remove the food tax from House Bill 412, the most comprehensive tax reform legislation in a generation. New Mexico’s gross receipts or sales tax system is a mess. It is undermined by 383 loopholes, exemptions and deductions for a grab bag of things ranging from fuel for space vehicles to professional boxing matches to recreational vehicle sales. Rep. Jason Harper, R-Rio Rancho, has been thoughtfully leading the fight to close these and dozens of other loopholes and to use the resulting revenue to reduce overall tax rates.
SANTA FE — The Tax and Revenue Committee in the New Mexico House of Representatives today defeated legislation by a vote of 9 to 5 that would have provided public schools a needed funding increase of $89 million per year by increasing the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50. SB 231, sponsored by Senator Howie Morales of Silver City, would have directed the new revenues to strengthen New Mexico’s K-12 classrooms. Those funds are needed to prevent looming cuts of 5% to 7% across the board to classrooms and higher education institutions if no new revenues are enacted. Two Democrats on the panel voted with Republicans to table the measure, which is now effectively dead for the session.