Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is promising to end child hunger in New Mexico within a year. “Maybe that's too high of a goal, I don't care,” Lujan Grisham said at the Kids Count Conference. “New Mexico needs to institute universal food security services and programs in this state and every single philanthropic partner has to be dedicated to making sure no child in this state will ever go hungry again ..."
“We will look poverty in the face,” Lujan Grisham said in the keynote address at the annual Kids Count Conference in Albuquerque. “… It is an evil in our state, and it must be dealt a death blow.” Lujan Grisham spoke to about 500 people gathered for the conference, organized by the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children.
“We all saw the report last week,” Lujan Grisham said Wednesday at a conference organized by the nonprofit advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children. She was referring to the 2019 Kids Count Data Book, an annual report by the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation, which assesses how kids in each state are faring on several measures, from health care to education to poverty.
Our constituents live over this plume. They deserve a specific, detailed clean-up plan with enforceable timelines instead of a 20-year science experiment.
Noting New Mexico’s Public Education Department is under a court order to make more investments in its schools, James Jimenez, executive director of the nonprofit New Mexico Voices for Children, said in an email that increasing those rates in the future is “just plain common sense” and will help the state meet the court mandates to improve public education.
“While New Mexico is used to being at the bottom of the nation in many indicators, here’s one where we’re at the top: we’ve had the most natural gas wasted from oil and gas production on federal land. The waste of gas through venting and flaring cheats New Mexico children out of millions of dollars of lost revenue."
“New Mexico tried for too long to tax-cut its way to prosperity, and the dismal results should surprise no one. We know that the best way to prosperity is with investments,” Jimenez told InsideSources.
“The one area where she did do well in, and we give her credit for, is the Medicaid expansion. That had an immediate and dramatic impact on some of the health stats for our children,” Jimenez said. That action cut the child uninsurance rate in half, from 10% down to 5%, with New Mexico zooming past 12 states in that area.
Given New Mexico’s substantial immigrant population and that group’s important contributions to our state – which includes paying taxes – it is essential that we enact policies that promote opportunity for all families. During the 2019 New Mexico legislative session, lawmakers passed several bills that will have broad benefits to immigrants, their families, and the state as a whole.
Lawmakers pushed a slew of bills through during the 2019 Legislative session addressing education inequities, and the governor signed many of them. But those efforts will take a while to be felt on the ground, experts say. This is the second year in a row, and the third time overall, that New Mexico ranked 50th in the nation in an overall score based on individual rankings in four categories.