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Gov Talks Child Abuse And Education

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Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth
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Gov. Susana Martinez delivered this year’s State of the State address on Tuesday, which also marked the start of the legislative session. 

A big budgetary shortfall has demanded nothing but belt-tightening in recent years, but Gov. Martinez said the state managed to increase funding for child protective services. Still, she drew on the names of kids killed through abuse in New Mexico and called for stiffer criminal penalties.

"If you kill a child, a law enforcement officer or a corrections officer, you deserve the death penalty," she said to much applause. "If you intentionally abuse a child and that child dies, regardless of that child’s age, you should never get out of prison. "

The governor lauded advancements in public education in New Mexico after what she called bold reform and said funding cuts should not affect the classroom. Her budget proposal would dip into public school districts’ reserves and teachers’ take-home pay. She also suggested denying or revoking driver’s licenses to teens who regularly ditch school. 

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The People, Power and Democracy project examines ethics, transparency and accountability in state government. It's a collaborative, multi-media partnership between KUNM-FM, New Mexico PBS, New Mexico In Depth and the New Mexico News Port. The project is funded by the Thornburg Foundation and by contributions from KUNM listeners. 

Marisa Demarco began a career in radio at KUNM News in late 2013 and covered public health for much of her time at the station. During the pandemic, she is also the executive producer for Your NM Government and No More Normal, shows focused on the varied impacts of COVID-19 and community response, as well as racial and social justice. She joined Source New Mexico as editor-in-chief in 2021.
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