KUNM

Poverty

Let's Talk About How We Define Poverty

May 21, 2018
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Let's Talk New Mexico 5/24 8a: Poverty is a persistent topic in New Mexico, from news coverage of the latest statistics to legislative hearings on proposals to address high poverty rates in our communities. Nearly 20 percent of New Mexicans are considered to be living in poverty according to the U.S. Census. Are these numbers accurately capturing the real experiences of people across the state? How can we talk about poverty differently, in a way that doesn't define people by their income? What do you think makes someone poor? Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show. 

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Let’s Talk New Mexico 5/10 8a: About one in four New Mexicans has an EBT card in their wallet that they use to buy food. We’re continuing the conversation this week about food assistance and new work requirements that Congress is considering in the 2018 Farm Bill.

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Let's Talk New Mexico 4/26 8a: Call 277-5866. We're talking about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and whether people in our state can access it. We'll also talk about the Farm Bill proposed in Congress, which would increase work requirements for people using SNAP, along with other changes. Have you applied for SNAP? How did the process go for you? Or what do you think of work requirements for people participating in this programs? How can people in New Mexico get the food they need? Email letstalk@KUNM.org, tweet #letstalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

For decades, families in New Mexico have been missing out on food and medical assistance that they’re eligible for under federal law. Records show that things have gotten better in recent months. Still, the issue’s been in court for 30 years, and a federal judge says one problem is a lack of accountability within the state’s Income Support Division

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New Mexico is still too slow in delivering food and medical assistance to the many people here who need it—and the problem is the people in charge. That’s according to a court appointed expert – a special master – who spent a year working inside the state Human Services Department’s Income Support Division.

New Mexico PBS

This year’s 30-day legislative session wrapped up last week. It was a budget year, but lawmakers also considered legislation to address issues like education and public safety. We'll take a look at what happened this year at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, then we'll step back and spend the rest of the hour looking at programs and organizations around the state that are addressing some of the most persistent problems in our communities – from poverty to a lack of access to health care.

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Hundreds of homeless people around the U.S. are the victims of violence just because they are homeless, according to a survey published last year. And in Albuquerque, police say 15 people who were experiencing homelessness were killed in 2017. 

Mora County Sues Over Opioid Epidemic

Sep 22, 2017
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. 

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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. 

HSD Moves Ahead With Unpopular Medicaid Changes

Sep 6, 2017
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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. 

Let's Talk Equal Access To Education

Aug 29, 2017
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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.

LISTEN: Cutting Medicaid To Fix The State Budget

Jul 25, 2017
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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. 

Medicaid Copay Plan Met With Strong Opposition

Jul 18, 2017
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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.

HSD Considering Medicaid Copays

Jul 14, 2017
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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.

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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.

Governor Vetoes Home Visiting Bill

Apr 11, 2017
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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.

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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. 

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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.

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  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
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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. 

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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
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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. 

Can Santa Fe’s Housing Puzzle Be Solved?

May 10, 2016
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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. 

Low-Income, High Rent: Getting By In Santa Fe

May 9, 2016
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?

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