The Aug. 2 compromise to raise the debt ceiling and cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending over 10 years doesn’t have New Mexico agencies making changes quite yet.
The state gets a hefty chunk of federal funding: In fiscal year 2009, New Mexico ranked fifth in federal dollars per capita. New Mexico Human Services Department spokesman Matt Kennicott says Medicaid spending is protected for now, but he’s uncertain what will come of the “super committee” set to form later this year to decide where to cut.
“We haven’t been informed of anything,” Kennicott tells SFR. “We don’t expect any reduction in any programs.”
On his website, Sen. Tom Udall, D-NM, says the deal, which he says he reluctantly voted for, puts housing assistance, small business support and rural economic development programs in jeopardy.
“If we do it fairly, we can have a situation that doesn’t affect the poor,” Udall said in an Aug. 2 phone conference.
The first wave of cuts will come in the next congressionally approved budget, provided Congress actually can approve it. If it doesn’t, the government shuts down after the current fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
Leann Kemp, a spokeswoman for the New Mexico Mortgage Finance Authority, which provides affordable housing assistance, says her agency is monitoring the situation.
“Until we hear differently, it’s business as usual,” Kemp tells SFR. “We’re aware of the possibility [of cuts] but are keeping all programs intact and moving forward.”