|VGreat news! Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced yesterday that her administration has asked the federal government to reverse harmful cuts in the Centennial Care 2.0 Medicaid waiver, regarding premiums, co-pays, and phasing out retroactive coverage.|
With your support over the last two years, the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty fought these drastic cuts along with other provisions in the waiver that would have reduced healthcare services for parents and caretakers living in deep poverty and New Mexico children’s ability to grow into healthy adults.
Every step of the way, we stood together to attend public hearings, share stories, make phone calls, and write comments. Our efforts worked!
In response to our advocacy, the Human Services Department and federal government scaled back the cuts piece by piece in the past year. Governor Lujan Grisham’s decision now strikes down the last of them. Her decision aligns with our stance that these cuts would have caused thousands of low-income New Mexicans to lose healthcare coverage, shifted more costs to healthcare providers, and raised overall costs for our healthcare system and state budget.
Thank you to Governor Lujan Grisham and an especially big thank you to all of you for your advocacy to protect access to healthcare for low-income New Mexicans!
New Mexicans keep working harder and harder but haven’t seen a raise in the state minimum wage in over 10 years.
It’s time our state increase the minimum wage for all workers, including tipped workers.
Show your support for HB 31! Don’t let tipped workers and their families behind, they deserve a raise too. Join us!
WHAT: House floor vote on HB 31
WHEN: Wednesday, February 13, 4:30 p.m. (subject to change)
WHERE: House of Representatives gallery at the Roundhouse (490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501)
HB 31 would increase the state minimum wage to $12 per hour phased in over the next three years for New Mexico’s workers, including tipped workers, who would earn a higher base wage plus tips.
If you can’t make it out make sure to:
Please support and give public comment on the Medicaid Buy-in Act (also known as Senate Bill 405 sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino) in the Senate Public Affairs this THURSDAY (2/14) at 1:30pm (or half hour after the floor session) in Room 321.
The Medicaid Buy-in Act
- Improves access to healthcare by expanding coverage for people who are uninsured and reduces the costs of health insurance.
- Reduces uncompensated care costs for healthcare providers and hospitals by covering more patients.
- Is a state-based coverage solution that leverages the existing popular and trusted Medicaid infrastructure, which already covers over 830,000 New Mexicans.
Between now and the committee hearing on Thursday, we ask that you contact Senate Public Affairs members and ask them to VOTE YES for the Medicaid Buy-in Act. Please see the linked factsheets (English and Spanish) as well as this legislative toolkit for more details.
Critical decisions are being made at the legislature about the future of public schools for our children. As you know, children learn better when they have an education that is culturally and linguistically relevant to them. Several bills are advancing that would create and ensure a multicultural and multilingual education in New Mexico and the pipeline of teachers needed to support it.
We urgently need your help to call key elected leaders today to ensure these bills are funded or they might not make it past the House committee that will determine the budget. These bills are necessary for our students and would help bring the state into compliance with the Yazzie/Martinez court ruling that found the state has failed to provide a sufficient education to our children.
Please call these key elected leaders listed below TODAY and ask them to support House Bills 111, 120, 159, and 516 for a multicultural education and to ensure they are fully funded in HB 2 (General Appropriation Act).
- Representative Patricia A. Lundstrom, (505) 986-4316
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, (505) 476-2200
- Lt. Governor Howie Morales, (505) 476-2250
- Representative Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales, 505) 986-4319
Below are short descriptions of each bill. For more information about the Transform Education NM campaign go to: https://transformeducationnm.org/
HB 111—Cultural and Linguistic Education Support (Reps. Tomás Salazar and Linda Trujillo): Builds the capacity for Regional Education Cooperatives (RECs) to provide professional development for educators on culturally and linguistically responsive instruction. HB111 would provide funding for RECs to contract with local experts to build their capacity to provide professional development in strategies and techniques to most effectively teach culturally and linguistically diverse learners.
HB 120—Bilingual Teacher Preparation Act (Rep. Tomás Salazar): Increases the amount of bilingual and TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages)-endorsed teachers in New Mexico by allowing for the Higher Education Department to provide grants for students seeking degrees and/or endorsements in bilingual/multicultural education or TESOL, prioritizing current bilingual educational assistants, bilingual seal recipients, and speakers of indigenous languages.
HB 159—Multicultural Education Framework (Reps. Tomás Salazar and Christine Trujillo): Establishes a multicultural, multilingual framework for public education that aligns the duties and powers of the New Mexico Indian Education Act, Hispanic Education Act, and Bilingual Multicultural Education Act, to address the unique cultural and linguistic needs of New Mexico students.
HB 516—American Indian Educational Outcomes (Reps. Derrick Lente, Christine Trujillo, Linda Trujillo, Roberto “Bobby”Gonzales, and Patricia Lundstrom): Makes appropriations to state institutions of higher education to improve educational outcomes for American Indian public school and higher education students and families.
Transform Education NM, a broad coalition of teachers, parents, students, district superintendents, bilingual experts, and non-profit organizations, will hold a press event on Monday, January 21, at 2:00 p.m. in the Rotunda at the New Mexico State Capital. The Coalition will share its legislative agenda that aligns with its Platform for Action, which was developed in collaboration with hundreds of educational and tribal leaders, families, and informed directly by the court’s decision.
Transform Education NM press event in the Rotunda
- Wilhelmina Yazzie, plaintiff in the Yazzie v. State of New Mexico lawsuit
- Victoria Tafoya, Transform Education NM & New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education
- Representative Tomás E. Salazar
- Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, Majority Floor Leader
- Michelle Soto, high school student
- James Jimenez, NM Voices for Children
Monday, January 21, 2:00 p.m.
New Mexico State Capital
Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501
The press event will be streamed via Facebook Live: www.Facebook.com/TransformEducationNM
*Presenters, students, educators, and other coalition members will be available immediately after the press for one-on-one interviews.
Transform Eduction NM is a coalition of educational leaders, families, tribal leaders, and the lawsuit plaintiffs working to transform the state’s education system for our students.
Every child deserves the best start from birth! Please call the policymakers below and ask them to invest in Medicaid home visiting services.
This legislative session, New Mexico has an opportunity to improve early childhood health and development outcomes by expanding home visiting services through Medicaid.
For roughly every $3 dollars New Mexico invests in Medicaid home visiting, the federal government will put $7 toward the program in matching funds.
Expanding home visiting to 10,000 more Medicaid-eligible children will only require an investment of $10 million. This investment will support services proven to:
- Improve a child’s physical, social, and emotional well-being;
- Increase the likelihood that a child receives important screenings and immunizations;
- Reduce childhood abuse and neglect;
- Reduce healthcare costs;
- Improve a child’s school readiness; and
- Increase parental enrollment in education and job programs.
Please help us call these key policymakers and ask them to invest $10 million in Medicaid home visiting services. It is easy and will only take a few minutes.
- Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, (505) 476-2200
- Speaker Brian Egolf, (505) 986-4782
- Representative Patty Lundstrom, Chair of House Appropriations Committee, (505) 986-4316
- Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter Wirth, (505) 986-4727
- Senator John Arthur Smith, Chair of Senate Finance Committee, (505) 986-4365
A staff member for each policymaker will answer the phone. You will give your name and leave a message that you want them to invest $10 million in Medicaid home visiting services.
Please email William@nmpovertylaw.org if you have any questions.
We are in a historic moment that will define the future of education for children in New Mexico. In just a few weeks, the new governor and our legislators will be making important decisions about our schools. Transform Education NM invites you to join our efforts at this critical time.
Our students are strong, not only because of their intelligence and creativity, but also because of their cultures and communities. Our education system should reflect those strengths. But for decades, the state has violated the constitutional rights of students and failed to provide a sufficient education. Students who are Native American, English language learners, low-income, and students with disabilities have suffered the worst educational disparities.
Because of the landmark Yazzie/Martinez court decision this past summer, the state is finally being held accountable for this systemic failure. The court ordered the state to take immediate action to fix our schools.
Together with hundreds of stakeholders, including plaintiffs in the lawsuit, as well as educators, parents, tribal leaders, education experts and community leaders, our coalition has developed a platform for action. Supported by the research and volumes of evidence that led to the court ruling, the platform is a blueprint for transformation for our schools that:
- Reflects a multicultural and multilingual framework as a foundation for learning.
- Values our teachers with higher pay and professional development.
- Provides all children access to pre-kindergarten programs.
- Ensures access to instructional materials, technology and transportation, and extended learning opportunities like summer school and more classroom time.
- Expands social services, counseling and healthcare so students come to school ready to learn.
- Adequately funds the schools to have the resources necessary for our children to learn and succeed, and ensures accountability for the funds.
New Mexico is on the verge of big changes—together, we can ensure the success of our children and our state.
Transform Education NM coalition members include:
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, College Horizons, Dual Language Education of NM, Keres Children’s Learning Center, AFT New Mexico (American Federation of Teachers), Native American Community Academy (NACA), NACA Inspired School Network (NISN), Learning Alliance NM, NM Dream Team/United We Dream, Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP), National Education Association NM (NEA-NM), New Mexico Association for Bilingual Education (NMABE), Coalition for the Majority, Native American Budget & Policy Institute (NABPI), New Mexico Education Action Alliance, CHI St. Joseph’s Children, NGAGE NM, The Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, NM School Boards Association, The Sun Project, and current and former superintendents of school districts and plaintiff school districts (Cuba Independent School District, Gallup-McKinley County Schools, Lake Arthur Public Schools, Moriarty Edgewood School District, Rio Rancho Public Schools, Santa Fe Public Schools)
Together, we must stop the Trump administration’s new attack on immigrant families!
Yesterday evening, the Department of Homeland Security proposed a revised “public charge” rule that threatens access to food, medical, and housing assistance for millions of lawfully present immigrant families. It allows the federal government to block immigrants from becoming legal permanent residents or “green card” holders have used public benefits like food and medical assistance for which they are eligible.
The new “public charge” rule greatly expands the list of programs that jeopardize immigration status to include nearly all available basic need programs like Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
If it goes into effect, many families will have no choice but to forgo critical assistance for fear of family members being denied a green card, putting them at greater risk of falling into poverty. It will also allow the administration to significantly shift the U.S. legal immigration system away from family-based immigration without the approval of Congress.
Sign up here to help us resist! Help fight this shameful rule!
Add your name and/or organization to a list of New Mexicans opposed to the changes
Submit comments about the proposed “public charge” rule. (The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty will provide a template.)
You can find information on what we know about the proposed changes here.
The Trump administration is expected to issue a proposed federal regulation soon that forces families that include immigrants to choose between meeting basic needs and keeping their families together. The revised “public charge” rule could block immigrants from becoming legal permanent residents (LPRs) or “green card” holders if they or their dependents–including U.S. citizen children–use public benefits for which they are eligible.
What is the public charge test now?
The “public charge” test identifies immigrants who might depend on government benefits like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Supplemental Security Income, and General Assistance. If the government determines someone is likely to become a “public charge,” it can deny admission to the U.S. or refuse an application for lawful permanent residency.
The Trump administration wants to drastically expand the list of programs included in public charge determination, threatening access to food, medical, and housing assistance for millions of lawfully present immigrant families and their U.S. citizen children.
This change would cause families to forgo critical assistance like Medicaid and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) for fear of family members being deported or denied a green card, putting them at greater risk of falling into poverty. It would also allow the administration to significantly shift the U.S. legal immigration system away from family-based immigration–all without the approval of Congress.
Sign up here to help us resist! Help fight this shameful rule!
- Add your name and/or organization to a list of New Mexicans opposed to the changes
- Submit comments when the new proposed rule is released. (The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty will provide a template.)
- Gather stories about how immigrant families will be impacted.
- Join the national campaign to Protect Immigrant Families
Good news! The memorials to study a Medicaid buy-in option in New Mexico – House Memorial 9 and Senate Memorial 3 – both passed with strong bi-partisan support. The study is a first step toward an innovative new plan that would allow individuals and families in our state to buy low-cost coverage through Medicaid even if they do not qualify for it now. This would provide more people with affordable healthcare and create more choices in the insurance market.
This would not have happened without you. Thank you for joining us in acting to strengthen healthcare access for all New Mexicans!
Your advocacy means that our state Legislative Health and Human Services Committee will bring together experts and stakeholders to explore whether the Medicaid buy-in is a viable option for uninsured and under-insured New Mexicans.
If you have not already, please follow the New Mexico Together for Healthcare campaign to get updates and alerts about how you can take action to support the Medicaid buy-in study. You can sign up here to get involved and follow the campaign on social media – Twitter (@NMT4HC) and Facebook (@NMTogether4Healthcare) – and its website.
For additional details, please also see our factsheet. For any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.