Amber Wallin, on the right in the red jacket, is on hand while Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signs a bill to help ensure New Mexico has an accurate 2020 Census count.

by Amber Wallin, Tumbleweeds Magazine
Nov. 23, 2022

Like most parents, when my first child was born, he — and later his sister — became my highest priority. If our state is to thrive and have a strong future, it makes sense for our lawmakers to make children a high priority as well. And in many ways, they do. For example, elementary education has long been one of the largest slices of the state’s budgetary pie. But, to build a strong economy and a stronger and more equitable future for all of New Mexico’s children, investments in our children need to go far beyond ensuring they are educated. As the executive director of a child advocacy organization, I am honored to work alongside colleagues, partners, policymakers, and community members to ensure that all New Mexico children are a high priority when our legislators meet every January in Santa Fe.

During the legislative session, lawmakers create the budget that funds every state service and program that our families, communities, and businesses rely upon — such as our schools and universities, health care providers, first responders, infrastructure, and more. In addition to advocating for adequate budgets for those essential services, we also work to ensure that the state’s tax system brings in enough revenue to support those key services and is also equitable.

Parents will see one of these important policy changes next year as the brand-new state-level Child Tax Credit comes online — you will be able to claim it when you file your 2023 income tax returns in 2024. This new credit will not only help every family with children in the state, but it will also improve racial and gender equity in the tax code. It was created in addition to several expansions lawmakers made in recent years to other tax credits for parents and workers earning low incomes.

Read more at Tumbleweeds Magazine