Economics In Brief: New Mexico Enshrines The Right To Pre-K – Next City

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Financial

Midterm wins on economic justice.

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Child Care Expansion In New Mexico

New Mexico will be the first state in the country to guarantee a constitutional right to early childhood education. With more than 70% of the vote, voters there have approved a ballot measure to radically expand pre-K and childcare access – by pulling funds from the state’s reserves of oil and gas revenue.

The Land Grant Permanent Fund investment savings portfolio, comprising royalties from gas exploration and oil businesses conducted on state lands (among other businesses), providing universal pre-school and childcare for all families. The measure will also improve home-visit programming for new parents.

The fund currently distributes nearly $800 million a year to 21 educational organizations. The new amendment will allocate an additional 1.25% from the fund to early childhood education programs.

“We are absolutely part of a larger network of states, and not every state has a [Land Grant] Permanent Fund, but every state has a legislature and organizing,” Andrea Serrano, the executive director of Olé, a grassroots group in New Mexico, told March8. “We know they’re watching us to see what happens.”

Arizona To Cap Medical Debt Interest Rates

Arizona voters have passed Proposition 209, which advocates believe will help protect residents in medical debt from bankruptcy and poverty once it takes effect in January.

Known as the Predatory Debt Collection Act, the statewide ballot measure will limit interest rates on newly incurred medical debt to a maximum of 3%. It will not apply to debt that exists before the measure kicks in. But for those in new and old debt, Proposition 209 will restrict debt collectors’ ability to seize people’s homes, property, vehicles or wages if they owe money for medi …

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