Economic Security and Prosperity2022-02-11T12:45:25-07:00

Economic Security and Prosperity

The economy should work for everyone, not just a select few. But for New Mexicans who lack job skills and education, and work in low-wage jobs with little hope for advancement, economic security is just a dream. Long-term economic prosperity involves promoting economic and workforce development opportunities for all New Mexicans, as well as supporting access to adequate wage and work supports for those in crisis and those who are unable to work.

Featured Content

A new state Child Tax Credit would create opportunities for all New Mexico kids to thrive

Many families are still hurting from the pandemic-caused recession – particularly those that are earning low incomes, are families of color, or where a woman is head of the household. A new state-level Child Tax Credit would help hard-working families and grandparents raising grandchildren, improve racial and gender inequity, and make our tax system more fair.

 

Eligible but Excluded: How Systemic Inequities in Language Access are Impacting Asian, Pacific Islander, and African Immigrant and Refugee Communities During the Pandemic

A follow-up to our Essential but Excluded report, this looks at how Asian/Pacific Islander and African immigrants and refugees are unable to access public benefits for which they are eligible – and not just during the pandemic – due to a pervasive lack of language access at many state agencies. This, despite federal laws requiring such access.

Tax Policy: A Powerful Tool to Advance Racial Equity in New Mexico

Systemic racism isn’t accidental – it’s the result of public policies that benefit one group while disadvantaging others. Our state and national tax systems have been built to benefit those at the top (who are mostly white) while disadvantaging people of color. This report looks at concrete ways New Mexico can make our tax system more equitable.

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New Mexico Must Act Now to Help Keep Families Housed

February 14th, 2022|

Our families and communities are safer and can thrive best when everyone has a warm, healthy place to live. However, as many as 80,000 New Mexicans are at risk of eviction – that’s equivalent to almost the entire population of Sante Fe. Worse, approximately 16 families get evicted every day in the state.

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Current Initiatives

Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) is a national initiative focused on strengthening state workforce development policies as a way of reducing poverty for working families. One way to address poverty among working Americans is with so-called ‘work supports,’ which help stabilize low-wage workers while assisting their climb up the job ladder. Work supports include child care assistance, health care coverage, funding for adult basic education and community college attendance, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Fiscal Policy Project, our program focusing on tax and budget policy, also covers work supports and wage issues.

Resources

A Basic Family Budget Calculator is an important tool in determining if a family lives in poverty, because the system currently in place to do that is completely outdated.

Federal poverty guidelines, which dictate whether a family is eligible to receive assistance such as Medicaid and Food Stamps, are tied to a formula that was created in the 1960s. It was based on what the typical family spent on groceries because that was a family’s biggest expense at the time. Today, necessities like housing, childcare and health care take up a far greater share of most family incomes than groceries. Not only do the guidelines not take these changes into account, they do not take into account regional differences in the cost of living.

Because the federal guidelines are so inaccurate, families are generally considered low-income when they earn up to twice (or 200 percent) the poverty level. This makes up for some shortfalls in the guidelines, but they are still nowhere near as accurate as a Basic Family Budget.

  • Click here to find out the minimum amount families need to earn in order to live at a basic, no-frills level in New Mexico’s cities and counties
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