New Mexico First just issued an ambitious Progress Report for the state, focused on the state’s big four issues: education, health, economy and water. The nonpartisan public policy group provides a frank, unemotional appraisal of where we’re at with the hope that legislators and organizations can use the information to find common ground.
The report’s advisory committee, drawing from an array of sources, chose 35 indicators. Some we’ve heard before, but others give us new insight into our strengths and weaknesses.
First, the good news: The state is making progress in pre-kindergarten enrollment, science and math college graduates, heart disease deaths, health insurance coverage, child immunization, adult smoking reduction, household income, unemployment, export-related employment, fiscal and regulatory policy, energy production, total water use, water use by public water systems, and water rights adjudications.
And the bad: The state is getting worse in child hunger, mental healthcare access, healthcare provider access, substance abuse deaths, poverty, waterway impairment, and dams with safety deficiencies.
Let’s look at the economy because it supports everything else.