Poverty Is Not an Accident

Poverty Is Not an Accident
Nelson Mandela

Monday, February 07, 2011

Homeless New Mexico Legislative Update

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Legislative Update
February 7, 2011
Lobby Day
We had a very successful NMCEH Lobby Day on January 26, 2011 with sixty people participating from member organizations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Taos and Roswell. Our members spoke with their legislators about NMCEH legislative priorities and what is happening in their district. Thank you to everyone who participated!
Senate Bill 177 (SB177): The Municipal and County Affordable Housing Act
SB177 is sponsored by Senator Ortiz y Pino and co-sponsored by Senator Papen. SB177 would allow local municipalities and counties to ask voters to increase property taxes to fund affordable housing. The Senate Corporations Committee passed SB177 last Wednesday, February 2nd. The bill was amended so that it only applies to Santa Fe County, which was necessary in order to secure enough votes to pass the bill out of committee. SB177 is now in the Senate Finance Committee. We are not sure when Senate Finance will hear SB177 but it may not be for several weeks.
House Joint Memorial 22 (HJM 22): Create an Interagency Council on Child Homelessness
HJM 22 is sponsored by Rep. O'Neill and co-sponsored by Senator Ryan. HJM 22 has been assigned to the House Appropriations & Finance Committee (HAFC). HAFC may not hear the memorial for several weeks as that committee is currently in the process of developing the FY2012 budget bill.
General Assistance
General Assistance is a state-funded cash assistance program for very low-income New Mexicans who cannot work because of a disability. At this point, it looks like the Legislature plans to allocate sufficient funding for General Assistance. We'll be keeping an eye on this as the budget bill progresses.
Homeless Assistance Programs
Up until FY11 the state had funded about $950,000 for services people experiencing homelessness. This funding has already sustained about a 3% cut and it appears that it will likely be cut by about another 3% in FY12.

Lisa Huval
Policy & Advocacy Director
New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness

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