"It is especially important that New Mexico is relatively well-prepared to weather a recession because we will be harder hit than other states by lower oil and gas prices due to our over-reliance on that industry as a revenue source,” James Jimenez, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children, said in a statement.
By James Jimenez, Albuquerque Journal Mar. 27, 2020 As the world energy markets have shown in the past few weeks, New Mexico’s over-reliance on oil and gas revenue leaves our state vulnerable – not just [...]
BLM grapples with public participation amid coronavirus pandemic, while some call for lease sales to be postponed
“While New Mexico families are focused on making sure their loved ones are safe and healthy during this fast-moving crisis, other problems are brewing at the state level that may cause pain for years to come. Plummeting oil and gas prices are draining the state budget of funds needed for public safety, health care, education, and more."
Some of the money that supports New Mexico’s education system comes from royalties and rental payments paid by the oil and natural gas industries. Because we understand how fortunate we are to have those natural resources, we tend to forget our responsibility to be the very best stewards of them that we can be.
Public lands belong to all of us, which means every New Mexican should be reaping the benefits. Yet, oil and gas companies continue to enjoy sweetheart deals for drilling on our public lands, as exemplified by this week’s lease sale. We urge Congress to take action and update the federal government’s fiscal policies for public lands drilling; our children’s futures depend upon it.
However, critics, including representatives of New Mexico Voices for Children and the National Education Association-New Mexico, a leading teachers union, said the state already offers various tax breaks for low-income residents.
“Ensuring an accurate census count is crucial for improving child well-being in our state because so much of the funding for health, education, and food security programs that New Mexico kids depend upon is determined by the census,” said Amber Wallin, deputy director of New Mexico Voices for Children.
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.”