Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham outlined her legislative priorities last week. Among those top concerns are creating early childhood trust funds, increasing penalties for the use of firearms in non-capital felonies and legalizing recreational marijuana.
“Kids Count is right to point out the enormous challenges facing our state’s early childhood services system,” Groginsky said. “We know that high-quality health and educational programs for children deliver an astonishing return on investment,” she added, “including significant gains in nearly every area we care about: education, health, employment, and social and emotional behavior.”
“We’re clearly not adequately providing (opportunities) for children of color, who make up the largest segment of our child population,” New Mexico Voices for Children executive director James Jimenez said. “When we’re OK with the fact that so many of our children lack the opportunities they need to be successful, we really paint a dire picture for the future.”
“We need to make these investments long term, and shouldn’t expect because there was one good budget year that all of a sudden everyone has the resources that they need. That’s clearly not the case,” he said.
Report We're seeing good news and bad news in this annual publication of the latest data on child well-being in New Mexico. While the child poverty rate has improved, for example, New Mexico still ranks near the bottom of the nation on this indicator. Besides data, policy recommendations are included so the state can take action to improve child well-being. (An annual KIDS COUNT report; state-, county-, tribal-, and school district-level data on indicators of child well-being; data by race and ethnicity where available)
“We’re clearly not adequately providing opportunity for children of color, who make up the largest segment of our child population,” said James Jimenez, executive director of NM Voices. “When we’re OK with the fact that so many of our children lack the opportunities they need to be successful, we really paint a dire picture for the future.”
Fact sheet New Mexico gives a big, unnecessary tax break to those with capital gains income. This tax break allows people to deduct 40 percent of their capital gains income from their state taxes, meaning this unearned income is taxed at a lower rate than the hard-earned wages of ordinary New Mexicans.
The taxes we all pay are how we fund the state’s programs and public services that benefit us collectively. They are how we build our roads, bridges, waterlines, electrical grids, and how we educate our children, advance public health, and uphold our laws. These programs and services form the foundation of our economy, enhance our quality of life, and pay dividends far into the future.
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.
Child Advocates Disappointed with LFC Budget Recommendation for Early Childhood Care and Learning Services
Once again, some in the Legislature want to continue this slow-drip process for funding early childhood care and education services. Unfortunately, the Legislative Finance Committee budget recommendation is far below the investments needed in the programs that matter most to New Mexico kids and families and far below the responsible recommendations made by Governor Lujan Grisham.