Report: Automatic Nondefense Federal Cuts Will Mean $41 Million Loss for NM

Sequestration will harm education, health care, and job training services

PRESS RELEASE
October 17, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children
505-244-9505 ext. 110 (p), 505-401-8709 (c), 505-244-9509 (f), skayne@nmvoices.org

ALBUQUERQUE—Unless Congress acts soon, New Mexico will lose $41 million in federal non-defense funding in January 2013. The lion’s share of these cuts will come from funding for public education. Also impacted will be programs to help educate and retrain New Mexicans who have lost their jobs, child care assistance for low-income working parents, Head Start, special education programs, and help for victims of domestic violence, among others.

These are among the findings in a report released today by New Mexico Voices for Children titled “Facing the Fiscal Cliff: How Nondefense Sequestration Cuts Will Impact New Mexico.”

“There has been a great deal of concern over how sequestration cuts to defense spending will impact New Mexico, but very little over the nondefense cuts,” said Amber Wallin, a policy analyst for the child advocacy organization and report author. “As with cuts to defense, funding cuts to education, health care, and job training will also lead to jobs losses. In addition, programs and services for some of our most vulnerable New Mexicans will be jeopardized,” she added.

Sequestration is a mandate of the federal Budget Control Act of 2011, which set caps on federal spending. The automatic cuts were set in motion because the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction could not reach an agreement on additional cuts. The cuts will be enacted in January 2013 unless Congress passes an alternate deficit reduction package before the end of this year. If Congress does not act, sequestration cuts will continue through 2021 and would mean a total loss of $325 million in federal nondefense funds for the state.

“While the federal deficit needs to be addressed, it should not come at the expense of our children’s education, nutrition assistance for women and children, and job training for the unemployed,” Wallin said. “Any approach to deficit reduction must be a more balanced one and include new revenue. Congress should start by ending the Bush tax cuts for the rich.”

The report is available online at: https://www.nmvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/Sequestration-impacts-report-10-12.pdf

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New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities. Our work on federal issues is funded by grants from First Focus and Voices for America’s Children. Our fiscal policy work is funded by grants from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and the Working Poor Families Project.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org