Learn the ins and outs of working with your legislators to promote a policy or cause that is important to you or your community. (A Fiscal Policy Project publication)
“Virtually all of incarcerated youth in New Mexico – 99% – have experienced some form of trauma that influenced their decision making,” said Javier Rojo, Research and Policy Analyst with New Mexico Voices for Children. “Tacking court-ordered costs onto an already traumatic experience only adds stress to their lives. The elimination of fines and fees is a big step forward in creating a more just system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment.”
“One of the nice things about doing something like the child tax credit is the notion that families know best on how to support their needs,” he said. “When you use a tax credit model, it puts the money and the decision power back in the hands of the families.”
Because 75 percent of New Mexico’s children are children of color and a disproportionate share of people of color live below the poverty level, the new tax credits that families will be able to collect will bring greater equity to New Mexico families and children of color, Jimenez said. “Tax policy is not race neutral,” he said.
“I can’t think of anything in my career that will have the impact on children that this bill will have. And, and I think it’s going to be incumbent upon all of us to follow through and follow the lives of these kids, and hold up the success stories that this creates,” said Democrat Sen. Martin Heinrich on Thursday in a presentation alongside education advocates highlighting the Act.
All of the speakers touched on the enormous reach of the ARPA and expressed the hope that the Child Tax Credit portion is made permanent. “This is such a far-reaching investment in our children,” said Jimenez. “Advocates like to say that a budget is a moral document. This is a moral statement about the importance of investing in our children.”
“We must not allow the oil and gas industry’s outsized impact on our state budget and economy to be an excuse to ignore the detrimental effects of fossil fuel dependency on our climate, our air quality, and the health of our families,” Jimenez said. “The final OCC rule banning routine venting and flaring is a good start.”
Fact Sheet The American Rescue Plan Act will help New Mexico in a number of ways - income supports, housing and food assistance for families, and education and health care assistance for the state, cities, counties, and Tribes. This fact sheet looks specifically at how children of color - who have been disproportionately harmed by the pandemic - will be helped. (State-level estimates, some by race and ethnicity, on how many people will be impacted)
“The lottery-based scholarships that are being provided are not addressing where the real need is,” James Jimenez, the executive director of NM Voices, said. “For a child of color born in New Mexico, there's a higher chance that child will live in poverty than a white child ... I think we need to do a much better job of directing aid toward families of color, (and) more specifically, low to moderate income families.”
Executive summary Our state budget is a reflection of what we value most and an illustration of the kind of communities we wish to create. How we spend and allocate funding – basically, how we make our values a reality – is decided by the lawmakers we elect to represent us in Santa Fe. They create the annual budget that the state uses to provide services that benefit us collectively, like education and health care. (Link to the full Guide to New Mexico's State Budget here)