Gov. Susana Martinez

National attention for Martinez’s veto of entire higher ed budget

Gov. Susana Martinez’s veto of the entire higher education budget is getting national attention. First, the Washington Post covered the veto earlier this week. Now, the Chronicle of Higher Education weighed in with a story. Martinez has said the veto was necessary to balance the budget, even as she says the budget—including higher education funding—will be addressed in an upcoming special session. The Washington Post analysis said the veto meant “nothing good” for students, adding the impasse could lead to “significant tuition increases at public universities.”

The newspaper cited a study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that found, when adjusted for inflation, higher education funding in New Mexico dropped by 32.2 percent since the Great Recession, the third-largest such drop in the nation.

NM advocates, patients push against Obamacare replacement

A coalition of healthcare advocacy and poverty rights organizations wants Congress to dump the Republican-backed replacement for the federal Affordable Care Act. On Wednesday, Parents Reaching Out held a press conference in Albuquerque encouraging people to call their representatives and senators to urge them to oppose the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which the federal House of Representatives may vote on as early as this Thursday. “We are concerned about upcoming Medicaid cuts and the potential devastation to our community,” said Lisa Rossignol, the healthcare liaison at Parents Reaching Out, which organized the Wednesday press conference. The bill, backed by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, would end the Medicaid expansion under the ACA by 2020. It would also cut money to Medicaid, the federal healthcare program for the poor, by $370 billion over 10 years, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

50th anniversary report examines Medicaid in New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. – A new report shows how many people in New Mexico benefit from Medicaid as the program’s 50th anniversary on July 30 draws near. Judy Solomon, vice president of health policy with the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, says Medicaid provides health coverage for 576,100 low-income seniors, children and people with disabilities in the state. She says it’s especially helpful for New Mexico’s youngest residents. “Less than 10 percent of kids are uninsured, and that is because of Medicaid,” says Solomon. “There is no way you would have a percentage like that without the Medicaid program that’s covering almost 350,000 kids.”

NM has one of largest cuts to higher education funding

According to a recent report, New Mexico has one of the largest cuts to higher education funding in the nation. The report from the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities looked at inflation-adjusted funding for higher education since the recession. The report found that the funding in New Mexico has dropped 32.2 percent since 2008, when adjusted for inflation. This works out to more than $4,300 per student. Only three states, Alaska, Wyoming and North Dakota, have seen higher education funding increase since 2008.