When you file your tax return this winter, you may be in for a very nice surprise. Thanks to the leadership of state legislators and Governor Lujan Grisham, New Mexico enacted several improvements in two tax credits that help those New Mexicans who need it most.
Like other public policy, tax policy can either advance or hinder racial and ethnic equity. It is never race-neutral. As the legislative session enters its final week, one important tax bill - HB 291 - is still being debated. There are numerous reasons to support (it raises revenue and makes our tax system more stable, among others), but one reason has particular meaning in a state where people of color comprise the majority of the population. This blog explains.
Since it was implemented in 2010, the ACA has faced strong opposition from Republicans. Although attempts to repeal the ACA have been unsuccessful, the Trump Administration has been highly effective at weakening the ACA by undermining its provisions. This includes making it more difficult to enroll in coverage by adding more administrative hurdles for eligibility and cutting the budget for outreach and enrollment.
The Affordable Care Act not only allowed millions of Americans to receive health insurance, it also improved public health and helped close the health disparity gap for people of color. Part 1 in this 2-part blog series looks at how the ACA benefitted New Mexicans.
Over the past few months, the resiliency and strength of communities all across New Mexico have been in full view as people come together to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the pandemic has caused disproportionate harm to communities of color, worsening disparities in health and economic well-being. Just as public policies entrenched systemic racism, they can be used to dismantle it.
The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the brutal truth that the economic divide between the haves and have-nots – caused by centuries of discrimination and enshrined in unfettered capitalism – is not simply a quality-of-life matter. It is, in fact, a matter of life and death.
Even with social distancing, the coronavirus pandemic has made it clear how interconnected we all are – that the health of an entire community is dependent on the health of each of its members. For the community to be healthy, everyone must have access to health care, shelter, and nutritious food.
Despite numerous challenges, including counterproductive federal policies and now a global pandemic, New Mexico policy-makers and local non-profit organizations are working together to make sure all New Mexicans are counted during the 2020 Census.
The decision in the Yazzie/Martinez education lawsuit was a watershed moment for the state of New Mexico, allowing us to finally address the chronic under-funding of our public schools and to tailor them to meet the cultural and linguistic needs of our children. And while the Legislature did provide more money for the system, they failed to meet the judge's order.
This revision is not acceptable, it targets immigrant families who are already residing legally in the United States, and it does not reflect America’s historical tradition of welcoming those seeking to make a better life. But there is still time stop this rule from being implemented.