A minimum wage increase is long overdue – it hasn’t been raised in almost a decade. As prices increase, purchasing power erodes, and families find themselves sinking deeper into dire straits. Our $7.50 minimum wage is now worth just $6.30.
The Healthy Workforce Ordinance that Albuquerque voters will soon decide will give our businesses an edge in attracting the best workers from cities and states that do not have similar provisions to help their workforce – and their communities – stay healthy. Albuquerque voters should pass it. Read more
New Mexico’s governor is responsible for expanding Medicaid here, and it’s had significant economic and health benefits for the state. So where is Governor Martinez on this issue? We don’t know because she hasn’t spoken up.
Diana was nervous as she spoke to the nearly 400 people gathered at our 5th annual KIDS COUNT Conference. As part of the panel discussion on women’s economic security and child well-being, Diana shared her frustration when, after a decade of working in the early education field and rising to the level of assistant director, she was still earning minimum wage. Her only raises, she said, came from changes in minimum wage laws. But this wasn’t the part of her story that I found most powerful. What really stuck with me was when she told us about having to become a single parent after surviving a domestic violence attack.
There is generally much less accountability when private companies run government programs. It becomes not only more difficult to determine just how our tax dollars are being spent, but there is also more room for subtle forms of discrimination to take place. By definition privatization means an economic focus on the use of public lands rather than a conservation and equity focus.
In reaction to the revenue shortfall that was created in large part by bad tax policy decisions, some lawmakers are looking to enact more bad policy. But sweeping up money from these special funds will endanger more than just common sense.
State government has a very important job to do. It ensures that all children receive an education that will prepare them to be productive adults. It works to keep our streets safe and our infrastructure in good repair. It must respond to public health threats and keep an eye to future needs. When state government does its job well, it enables and strengthens the state’s economic growth and helps its people thrive.
It's always gratifying when we can link a good outcome directly to a specific public policy--as we can in this case. We can also often predict a poor outcome when a bad decision is made. If we're smart, we'll use that knowledge to make better decisions. In this case, however, some lawmakers insisted on making a bad decision anyway.
Because poverty has multiple causes and tends to be generational, we must address it by meeting the needs of the family as a whole. This is called a two-generation approach, and it does more than ensure that children are fed and safe. It also gives parents the tools they need to better their own situations—whether that means access to job training and further education or health care to deal with substance abuse problems or chronic illness.
Low gas prices may make us happy at the pump, but the flip side--what it means to the state budget--will cost some of us dearly in lost services.