U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich announced Monday that he will propose legislation to address poverty across multiple generations.
As many as 30 percent of children in New Mexico live in poverty. Part of what makes improving that statistic hard, Heinrich said, is that social programs available to children can be hard to access, especially when parents themselves need help. He says his bill would streamline the process.
"We’re oftentimes leaving half the tools in the toolbox," he said. "Because it’s so hard for a parent who’s struggling to balance multiple jobs and trying to take care of their kids with all of the things that are available to help them escape the cycle of poverty."
Sen. Heinrich’s bill would, among other things, free up funding for existing state and local level programs that focus on both childhood and adult poverty – things like career services for low-income students who have kids of their own. It would also change the rules to make collaborations among public and private groups that receive federal funds easier.