Advocates for family and children say budget provides benefits for children

The legislature passed a budget of $10.2 billion this year. The budget now awaits the governor’s signature.  Some highlights from the budget that will benefit children include an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates, Bill Jordan, interim co-director and government relations officer for New Mexico Voices for Children, told NM Political Report.  Jordan said increasing the […]

Advocates for family and children say budget provides benefits for children

The legislature passed a budget of $10.2 billion this year. The budget now awaits the governor’s signature. 

Some highlights from the budget that will benefit children include an increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates, Bill Jordan, interim co-director and government relations officer for New Mexico Voices for Children, told NM Political Report

Jordan said increasing the reimbursement rates for Medicaid both encourages more providers to accept Medicaid patients and it also helps to attract more providers to the state.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during a press conference held after the legislative session that the budget passed by the legislature contains $100 million for Medicaid.

Jordan said this is of particular importance since nearly half of the state’s population relies on Medicaid. Between 70 to 80 percent of all births in New Mexico are covered by Medicaid, as well. 

Jordan said the legislature also passed some progressive tax policy. He said the tax omnibus bill, HB 252, sponsored by state Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, contains a restructuring of personal income tax rates that mostly lowers rates for lower and middle income families. At the same time, the tax omnibus bill trimmed back a state tax break on capital gains earnings.

Related: Tax omnibus passes Senate

Jordan said the capital gains tax break affects individuals who earn investment income. 

“They paid 40 percent less taxes just for making money on investments. We work for our money. They let their money work for them and they get a 40 percent discount on their taxes. It’s not fair and it doesn’t provide any economic benefit to the state,” Jordan said.

By reducing the tax credit, “that made our tax system more fair,” he said.

Jordan said one disappointment was that the legislature did not address taxes on alcohol or tobacco products. He said one of the primary disincentives for young people taking up vaping is when they pay a higher price for the product.

“New Mexico has a particularly high rate of vaping use among young and a higher tax would have helped discourage that. The price point is a big factor,” he said.

In addition to the budget, this legislative session priority included public safety. Jordan said that the two public safety bills that await the governor’s signature – one a seven-day waiting period to buy a gun and the other to prohibit guns in polling places – are “steps in the right direction.”

He said the seven-day waiting period bill, HB 129, sponsored by state Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, can help to reduce suicide among youth. New Mexico has a high rate of suicide. Jordan said that when youth attempt death by suicide and use a gun, completion is almost certain. 

But when youth use a different method, they will complete the suicide less than half of the time, he said.

He said the hope is that when that happens, the youth are more likely to get the help they need to process through the stress that led them to contemplate suicide.

Jordan said the bill passed by the legislature that prohibits guns in polling places “is an acknowledgment that guns are not the way we want to solve problems.” 

That bill, SB 5, was co-sponsored by House Majority Whip Reena Szczepanski, D-Santa Fe.

“Guns are a problem, not a solution. That’s the kind of message we need to be sending to the public and we think that bill helps to do that,” Jordan said.

Reporter Nicole Maxwell contributed to this story.

We're ad free

That means that we rely on support from readers like you. Help us keep reporting on the most important New Mexico Stories by donating today.

Related

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Governor to call special session for public safety legislation this summer

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that she will call the Legislature into a special session this summer to address public safety legislation that did…
Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List endorses seven candidates for Legislature

Emily’s List, a nonprofit that supports women candidates and reproductive rights, endorsed seven incumbents facing general election opponents in New Mexico legislative elections. All…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

BLM finalizes controversial public lands rule

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management finalized its controversial public lands rule on Thursday. This rule is controversial because it allows for conservation leasing…
Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Haaland signs order protecting sacred lands near Placitas

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order on Thursday to withdraw more than 4,200 acres of land in Sandoval County near Placitas from mineral…
Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

Amid new graduation requirements, what do high schoolers want to learn?

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican The main things that bring Brayan Chavez to school every day: Seeing, talking to and engaging with…
Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

Special ed teachers hope lawmakers OK pay raises, admin changes

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican Brittany Behenna Griffith has a laundry list of adjectives to describe the ideal special education teacher:…
Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

Lawmakers must find consensus on competing education spending plans

By Margaret O’Hara, The Santa Fe New Mexican A challenging task awaits New Mexico lawmakers in the next 30 days: Reconciling three very different…
Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Health workers fear it’s profits before protection as CDC revisits airborne transmission

Amy Maxmen, KFF Health News Four years after hospitals in New York City overflowed with covid-19 patients, emergency physician Sonya Stokes remains shaken by…
Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Lujan Grisham, Biden admin announce $10 million in federal funds for tribes, pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Friday $10 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act was awarded to six tribal nations and…
Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

Proposal to curb executive powers moves to House Judiciary

The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee discussed a potential constitutional amendment that seeks to limit the governor’s executive powers. The committee approved…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

Stansbury introduces judicial ethics bill on U.S. Supreme Court steps

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury announced a bill on Thursday that would, if enacted, establish judicial ethics to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judicial Ethics…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

How the AZ Supreme Court decision on abortion impacts New Mexico

The Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that an 1864 abortion ban is enforceable, throwing another state bordering New Mexico into the situation of…
Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Effort to challenge six laws enacted last year comes to an end

Earlier this month, the New Mexico Supreme Court denied and dismissed the effort to challenge six laws enacted in 2023. The New Mexico Supreme…
Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

Vasquez calls out Republicans for ‘inaction’ on border policy

U.S. Rep. Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez, a Democrat who represents the state’s 2nd Congressional District along the U.S.-Mexico border, cosponsored a resolution on Monday calling…
Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

Politics and abortion, how much will it matter?

At the national level, abortion is still a high-stakes issue with both major presidential candidates talking about it in their campaigns, but it may…
Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

Two PFAS chemicals designated hazardous substances under Superfund law

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a final rule Friday to designate two types of PFAS chemicals as hazardous substances. Those two chemicals are perfluorooctanoic…
New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children has new leadership

New Mexico Voices for Children, an organization that focuses on tax policy and how it impacts children in poverty, has new leadership. Gabrielle Uballez…
Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

Abortion fund provider rebrands and holds open house

An abortion fund provider unveiled a rebrand and offered an open house in Las Cruces to celebrate the organization’s new name, mission and values. …

GET INVOLVED

© 2023 New Mexico Political Report