Child Advocates Gravely Disappointed in Final Budget

MEDIA STATEMENT
February 4, 2016
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—Veronica C. García, Ed.D., executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, issued the following statement regarding the FY 2017 budget that was passed:

“We are gravely disappointed with the budget that was passed in the just-concluded session. We need a budget that prioritizes New Mexico’s children and families. Instead, we have a budget that continues a failed ideology that tax cuts create jobs and improve the quality of life for New Mexico’s families—even when that strategy has led to deepening budget cuts, no job growth, and less opportunity for all New Mexicans.

“This budget should have addressed high unemployment, lack of good-paying jobs, and high rates of child poverty and food insecurity. Our already-underfunded public schools, higher education, child protective services, behavioral health services, court systems, and more, will continue to be stretched beyond effectiveness. The already glacial pace of phasing in pre-K education has essentially been halted.

“The loss of revenue from low oil and gas prices clearly indicates that now is the time to roll back ineffective tax cuts. Multiple bills were introduced to delay the corporate income tax cuts, modify personal income tax brackets, repeal the costly and ineffective capital gains deduction, and expand taxes on tobacco products, but all failed.

“Noted economists advise that in order for New Mexico to thrive we must invest in the state’s most valuable resource—human capital. A workforce that is highly skilled and well-educated, families that are strong, children who are thriving, and communities that are safe are what will make New Mexico a place where businesses big and small want to put down roots.

“Recent history has shown that outside corporations have found it very lucrative to pit the states against one another to see which one will give them the best deal. But tax rates are only a fraction of a company’s bottom line and, when it comes to that bottom line, highly qualified, productive work-forces and vibrant communities always win out. It is these human capital investments—in our communities, education, health care, public safety, and how we preserve our natural resources—that truly create a profitable bottom line.”

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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.
625 Silver Ave. SW, Suite 195, Albuquerque, NM 87102; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org