By Jessica Pollard, Santa Fe New Mexican
Aug. 19, 2022
Since New Mexico hit the bottom of the state rankings for child well-being in 2022, child advocates are now looking ahead at policy initiatives in areas like early childhood education and the state’s juvenile justice system.
At the 10th annual Kids Count Conference, which was held virtually Thursday and hosted by child advocacy nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children, policy analysts with the organization called for voters to consider allotting funds from the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to education and announced plans to support a bill that would eliminate life sentences without parole for minors, among other policy ideas for 2023.
The permanent school fund ballot question, known as Constitutional Amendment 1, will be on the Nov. 8 general election ballot. If passed, the amendment would tap the state’s massive Land Grant Permanent Fund, which is valued at $26 billion and sustained by revenues from royalties and land leases relating to oil and gas, by 1.25 percent of it’s five-year average value annually.
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