KUNM

Advocates For Kids Fear National Budget Cuts

May 24, 2017

New Mexico is one of the poorest states in the union, and advocates fighting for people in poverty are alarmed at President Trump’s proposed budget.

If the president’s budget were to pass through Congress without changes, it would pull $191 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, and $600 billion from Medicaid over the next decade.

Those devastating cuts to food assistance and health care are the most concerning for James Jimenez, the executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children. "It’s really disturbing to me that we’re proposing to move down a path where New Mexico—a poor state with high levels of poverty—puts those people’s lives even more at risk by not being able to provide them even basic support."

And it’s poor children who would be the most affected by these cuts, Jimenez said, because the state leads the nation when it comes to the percentage of impoverished kids.

New Mexico relies heavily on federal money to cover health care and food assistance for people in the most precarious situations, money-wise. And it’s unlikely, Jimenez said, given the state’s budget problems in recent years, New Mexico would be able to make up the difference if federal funding drops off.