New Mexico cuts funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Family grants
New Mexico is one of four states, and the District of Columbia, that cut Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) block grant money, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The cuts “will carry a heavy human cost,” the policy organization reports.
New Mexico has cut the TANF benefits from $447 per month for a family of three to $380 per month, or 15 percent. The cuts began on January 1 of this year.
The other states that have cut the funding to aid low-income residents are California, Washington and South Carolina.
According to CBPP, “these cuts will push hundreds of thousands of families and children below — or further below — half of the poverty line.”
The CBPP says the cuts come because of fiscal pressures in the state. The TANF funding does not increase during times of economic hardship — the CBPP says the TANF Contingency Fund, which was supposed to cover this, “has proven severely inadequate” — and has not increased since it was created in 1996.
The CBPP highlighted other cuts made by some states, including New Mexico and Washington’s suspension of programs that provide a transitional benefit to families that leave welfare for low-wage work.