On Wednesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will designate$10 million in executive capital outlay funding next year to develop a new clinic in Doña Ana County. Lujan Grisham is directing the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration to designate the $10 million in the upcoming 2023 legislative session for the new clinic. The New Mexico Department of Health will also develop a plan to leverage state resources to expand access to reproductive healthcare, including abortion, to underserved areas of the state to increase access and decrease wait times at abortion clinics. Lujan Grisham’s announcement was a part of her second executive order on reproductive healthcare since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. The first order established that New Mexico would not cooperate with other state’s efforts to prosecute patients who travel to New Mexico and would protect providers who work in the state.
With the New Mexico Supreme Court’s pandemic-era inspired moratorium on evictions about to end, the court announced it will phase-in a statewide program to help tenants access money starting in April. But family advocates have said that approximately 80,000 renter households are at risk in the state for eviction. Divya Shiv, a research and policy analyst for New Mexico Voices for Children, told NM Political Report that the 43 percent of residents in the state reporting a high likelihood of eviction or foreclosure because they are not current on their rent or mortgage is higher than the national average, which is 35 percent. With the moratorium ending on evictions for tenants with unpaid rent, this could lead to a crisis of unhoused families in New Mexico, Shiv said. “Evictions are really harmful and it’s incredibly destabilizing for families and children,” she said.
Once again, New Mexico’s financials are too poor to merit a comment from an independent auditor. For the second year in a row, the state received a “disclaimer of opinion” on its most recent Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), which is supposed to give the most accurate picture of New Mexico’s financial condition. That’s because the state can’t account for at least $100 million of its own money, though the State Auditor’s Office says that the estimate of unaccounted-for money may be “substantially higher.”
New Mexico is overestimating money held in its savings account, or reserves. Reserves are different than the money used for the state’s annual budgets and act as a backup fund during bad economic times. For nearly a decade, New Mexico hasn’t been able to properly perform this act of balancing its own checkbook.