Economic Security and Prosperity 2018-10-23T13:42:07+00:00

Economic Security and Prosperity

The economy should work for everyone, not just a select few. But for New Mexicans who lack job skills and education, and work in low-wage jobs with little hope for advancement, economic security is just a dream. Long-term economic prosperity involves promoting economic and workforce development opportunities for all New Mexicans, as well as supporting access to adequate wage and work supports for those in crisis and those who are unable to work.

Featured Content

Investing in a Healthier New Mexico: The Economic and Fiscal Benefits of the Medicaid Expansion in New Mexico

The Medicaid expansion, as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been very good for New Mexico. Not only are tens of thousands of New Mexicans able to access health care, the program has brought billions into the state that has created thousands of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue. (Report)

New Mexicans are Worth More: Raising the Minimum Wage

New Mexico’s minimum wage has not been raised in nearly a decade. Worth $7.50 an hour back in 2009, it now has the purchasing power of $6.30. Nearly a quarter of a million workers and more than 100,000 children would benefit by an increase in the state minimum wage. (A Working Poor Families report)

New Mexico Kids at the Crossroads

With the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, New Mexico is not providing the opportunities our children need to succeed. But the good news is that we can improve opportunities for New Mexico’s kids through public policy. This children’s agenda for candidates provides 30 policy recommendations that will help improve child well-being. (Policy brief) 

Recent Publications

2018 KIDS COUNT Data Book

January 15th, 2019|

After ten years of austerity, New Mexico has fallen to last in the nation in child well-being. The state also lost a lawsuit claiming that it is not meeting its constitutional obligation when it comes to public education. It's time to change course. This annual publication reports the latest data on child well-being in New Mexico to help us choose the path forward. (An annual KIDS COUNT report; state-, county-, tribal-, and school district-level data on indicators of child well-being; data by race and ethnicity where available)

A tax rebate that’s long-overdue for an expansion

December 3rd, 2018|

Fact sheet The Low Income Comprehensive Tax Rebate (LICTR) was enacted to make our tax system fairer but because it hasn’t been updated in 20 years, it no longer does the job. LICTR was last amended in 1998. Over the last two decades, the rebate has lost much of its value, because a dollar is worth much less today that it was back in 1998. Over the same time period, our tax system has only gotten more regressive – falling even harder on those with the lowest incomes.

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Recent Blog Posts

Changing the course on child well-being

January 15th, 2019|

The past decade of austerity has been hard on New Mexico’s children. Still, we are optimistic about the future because we believe in the strength and resiliency of New Mexico’s families. We know we can build stronger communities and support more resilient families and children so that they can thrive. But we can only build a stronger New Mexico if our policymakers are willing to provide the revenue we need to make these investments.

Corporate tax cuts prevent us from investing in what really matters for a thriving economy

December 18th, 2018|

Here in New Mexico, we’ve given away more and more of our tax revenue over time in the form of corporate handouts and allowed multi-state corporations to play shell games with the profits they earn here. The result? Our state has less money to invest in the things that corporations really care about – modern and robust infrastructure, a well-trained workforce, and a market for their goods.

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Recent News Coverage

Poll: New Mexicans Oppose Reinstating Food Tax

December 26th, 2018|

"And we know that children in New Mexico suffer from a high degree of food insecurity, which means that they don't always know where the next meal is coming from,” he said. “And making food more expensive for children and families just does not make sense to us." Nearly all U.S. states have eliminated, reduced or offset taxes as applied to food for home consumption.

Census: N.M. struggling for a good connection

December 24th, 2018|

However, the Albuquerque-based child advocacy organization New Mexico Voices for Children does not believe low incomes and poverty are the reason for New Mexico’s low broadband subscription rate. “That’s an excuse, not a reason,” said James Jimenez, the group’s executive director. “One thing we have seen around the state, even in low-income communities, a lot of people still have a phone (despite the cost). Companies find a way of providing service people can afford.”

All news coverage

Current Initiatives

Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) is a national initiative focused on strengthening state workforce development policies as a way of reducing poverty for working families. One way to address poverty among working Americans is with so-called ‘work supports,’ which help stabilize low-wage workers while assisting their climb up the job ladder. Work supports include child care assistance, health care coverage, funding for adult basic education and community college attendance, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Fiscal Policy Project, our program focusing on tax and budget policy, also covers work supports and wage issues.

Resources

A Basic Family Budget Calculator is an important tool in determining if a family lives in poverty, because the system currently in place to do that is completely outdated.

Federal poverty guidelines, which dictate whether a family is eligible to receive assistance such as Medicaid and Food Stamps, are tied to a formula that was created in the 1960s. It was based on what the typical family spent on groceries because that was a family’s biggest expense at the time. Today, necessities like housing, childcare and health care take up a far greater share of most family incomes than groceries. Not only do the guidelines not take these changes into account, they do not take into account regional differences in the cost of living.

Because the federal guidelines are so inaccurate, families are generally considered low-income when they earn up to twice (or 200 percent) the poverty level. This makes up for some shortfalls in the guidelines, but they are still nowhere near as accurate as a Basic Family Budget.

  • Click here to find out the minimum amount families need to earn in order to live at a basic, no-frills level in New Mexico’s cities and counties