from the NEW MEXICO NEWS CONNECTION - A statewide news service for New Mexico
Albuquerque, Feb. 27, 2008 - New Mexico comes in 22nd in a report out today from the Children's Defense Fund Action Council. The report ranks Congressional delegations for their votes on children's issues like health care and education. New Mexico's Congressional delegation is coasting through with room to improve when it comes to kids' issues. The Land of Enchantment comes in right around the middle in a Children's Defense Fund Action Council report. The national report looked at lawmakers' votes over the past year on issues affecting children - things like raising the minimum wage, making toys safer, and expanding children's health insurance. Ed Shelleby with the Children's Defense Fund Action Council says Congress still has more work to do, and it's unacceptable that so many children remain at risk, "All of these children have multiple strikes against them, and we are sending tens of thousands of children to prison every year." Critics of the report say it doesn't take into account other factors, like taxpayer costs, or the effect of legislation on businesses.
Bill Jordan with New Mexico Voices for Children says conditions for children in the state are improving, but there's still a long way to go and more help is needed from Congress, "Frankly, one of the worst states in the nation in which to raise a child if you look at the data - we would hope that our Congressional delegation would keep children as certainly one of their highest priorities."
The full report is available at www.cdfactioncouncil.org .