KUNM

Poverty

Ed Williams / Public Health New Mexico

The opioid epidemic has racked up enormous costs for local governments in New Mexico, as cities and counties struggle to pay for medical care, law enforcement and treatment services for people dealing with addiction.

In recent years a growing number of local governments have been taking opioid manufacturers and distributors to court over those costs—including Mora County northeast of Santa Fe. 

FeeLoona via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico’s poverty rate is getting even worse for children under five years old, according to new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Now some child advocates and state legislators are renewing their calls to use money from the state’s permanent fund to pay for childhood programs. 

WerbeFabrikvia pixabay / creative commons license

The New Mexico Human Services Department has been considering charging Medicaid recipients copays in an effort to save money from the state’s cash-strapped budget. The proposals were met with strong opposition in public meetings earlier this year. But the state is moving forward with the changes anyway. 

StockSnap via Pixabay / creative commons license

Let's Talk New Mexico 8/31 8a: Call now 277-KUNM or 277-5866. You can also call toll-free 1-877-899-5866. Are all New Mexico’s students getting the same quality education? A lawsuit against the state says the answer is no, and that low-income kids, kids who speak languages other than English, and kids with disabilities aren't getting their fair share.

Images Money via Flickr / creative commons license

KUNM Call In Show 7/27 8a: As New Mexico grapples with a budget crisis, the state is considering whether to save money by making changes to Medicaid—things like charging copays for prescriptions and doctor visits and eliminating dental care for Medicaid recipients. 

annekarakash via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico is considering a plan to charge Medicaid patients copays as a way to save the state money. The proposal is drawing strong criticism from health care groups, poverty advocates and Medicaid recipients.

estableman via Pixabay / creative commons license

New Mexico allotted $940 million to pay for its share of Medicaid costs this year, but that’s still not enough to keep up with the growing number of people signing up for the program. The state Human Services Department is considering charging copays to people on Medicaid as part of a plan to cut costs.

Creative Commons via Wikimedia

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.

Walt Stoneburner via Flickr (cropped) / Creative Commons License

One of the bills that Governor Susana Martinez vetoed last week would have set up a Medicaid-funded home visiting program for new parents. The move has disappointed some doctors and child advocates.

JadeXJustice via Flickr / Creative Commons

A new report breaks down potential years of life lost when people die before the age of 75 and younger people are dying earlier.  

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

In a historic trial earlier this year, a jury weighed the fates of two former Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed James Boyd. Three jurors could not be swayed from a guilty verdict.

The deadlock resulted in a mistrial, and days after it was announced, KUNM’s Marisa Demarco met with one of those jurors—Robby Heckman—in the Foothills of the Sandia Mountains. There, a small white cross marks the spot James Boyd stood before he was killed.

New Mexico in Focus

U.S. Representative Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham is running for re-election this year in New Mexico’s first district. She sat down with Gwyneth Doland to discuss critical issues for voters as part of KUNM’s special election coverage with New Mexico PBS.

Her Republican challenger Richard Priem did not respond to multiple interview requests from New Mexico PBS. 

Pixabay, Creative Commons

Voters this year will decide whether to amend the state Constitution and change the way New Mexico’s bail bond system works.

Jeff Proctor is an independent journalist who has been following the issue for The Justice Project, published by New Mexico In Depth. He spoke with KUNM’s Elaine Baumgartel.

Ed Williams/KUNM

Affordable housing advocates gathered in Santa Fe Thursday to protest Mayor Javier Gonzales' new plan to revitalize certain areas of town. The protesters say the plan could gentrify a low-income part of the capital city.

It’s no secret Santa Fe is an expensive place to live. Natoshia Whylie, who rents a home near St. Michaels Drive, says it’s almost too expensive.

ALL ~ TROY VIA COMPFIGHT CC

  The U.S. Department of Justice said in a court filing last week that it’s unconstitutional to keep people behind bars just because they can’t afford to pay bail. Some bail bondsmen in New Mexico argue people in poverty shouldn’t be allowed to skirt the law.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The lack of paid sick leave in the U.S. contributes to the spread of disease and emergency medical costs, according to the American Public Health Association. There are no federal laws about it, but some states and cities have passed their own. Advocates in Albuquerque gathered enough signatures to put the issue before voters in November. 

Surveying For Illiteracy In New Mexico

Jun 20, 2016
Deb Stgo / Creative Commons via Flickr

Thousands of adult New Mexicans can't read well, and because of social stigmas, they’re a hidden population. The latest data estimates adult education programs only manage to reach a fraction of those folks. But an Albuquerque literacy program is developing a method of making contact with potential students. 

Camerafiend / creative commons license via Wikimedia

The Santa Fe City Council adopted an $82 million budget on Wednesday, May 25. Councilors devoted part of the city’s funds to addressing poverty and climate change in the capital.

New Mexico PBS

 

There are many reasons why people struggle to save money and move out of poverty. One is not having any extra money around for college, a house or to start a business.

That’s where one local organization has stepped in with a potential solution. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Hungry people in New Mexico may have been denied expedited food assistance after their applications were falsified and put on hold. That’s according to testimony from state workers in recent weeks during an ongoing hearing about whether the Human Services Department is fit to process applications.

The Battle Over Food Benefits

May 16, 2016
piropiro3 via Compfight / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 5/19 8a:

A group of workers in the Human Services Department testified earlier this month that their bosses changed applications for food stamps in order to prevent people from gaining access to emergency assistance. HSD officials invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 100 times last week when called to testify in court about the allegations. 

Horia Varlan via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Santa Fe is an expensive place to live. But it’s also an expensive place to build. Affordable housing and the bottom line of developers often clash. 

Ed Williams

Living in Santa Fe has gotten more and more expensive over the years. Today, home prices in New Mexico’s capital city are higher than almost anywhere else in the state. So, what happens when people don’t earn enough to make it there?

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Dollar stores are everywhere these days—they’re being built at a record pace, according to industry reports. In some rural communities in this state, you might not see any store except a dollar store. A campaign is calling on these discount chains to make sure products are nontoxic.

Rae Allen via Compfight CC

How quickly criminal cases work their way through the system has a big impact on defendants’ lives. And it’s been a little over a year since the state Supreme Court first set deadlines to speed things up and clear thousands of backlogged cases in Bernalillo County, the state’s busiest judicial district. The criminal justice system is still adjusting.

Wikimedia via CC

More than half a million people in the state make use of food stamps. Federal judges ordered the state on Monday, March 7, to halt work requirements for the program.  

All ~ Troy via Compfight

Changes to the way the courts handle bail passed both chambers of the state Legislature as of Wednesday morning and will be on the ballot in November. 

dmuth via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico’s 30-day legislative session is nearly at the half-way point. It’s a budget session where lawmakers focus on funding state government. Javier Benavidez of the Southwest Organizing Project says they’d like to see lawmakers take a laser focus to issues of poverty, injustice and inequality this year.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The number of people who are behind bars in America is much bigger than it was 40 years ago. In fact, it’s five times higher. That means a lot more parents are doing time, and having a record can limit people’s ability to get a job, find a place to live and provide for their kids. A local program is trying to help dads get around the obstacles and back on track with their families.

National Center for Family Homelessness

Sat. 11/14 9a: This Saturday on the Children's Hour,  we'll learn about homeless children in New Mexico. There are more homeless children in the United States today than at any point in our nation's history, including in New Mexico.  

Pages