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NEW MEXICO LEGISLATIVE FINANCE COMMITTEE

COVID-19 suppresses state agency performance

Posted

The final FY20 report cards on the performance of New Mexico governmental agencies showed mixed results, as always, but the COVID-19 pandemic and related closures were behind the decline in performance, or, in many cases, the lack of data to measure performance.

The final quarterly report cards for the fiscal year, presented to the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) in August, showed, among other results, that proficiency rates on standardized tests, the primary measure of public school performance, were not available because the tests were canceled for the year; child support collections were up 13 percent because the Child Support Enforcement Division intercepted federal stimulus checks to noncustodial parents; and film production, on its way to a record-breaking year, fell short when all productions came to a halt.

The state’s film industry reached only $257.3 million, a significant decrease from $525 million in FY19. The number of worker days also decreased to 102,000 for FY20 from 319,000 in FY19.

New Mexico, with eight gating criteria for reopening businesses during COVID-19, has more reopening conditions than any other state, and is 37th in the number of COVID-19 cases per population, according to LFC analysis.

Committee staff report a model developed by the Rand Corporation, a research and analysis nonprofit, projects that eliminating all restrictions and interventions could increase gross state income by $300 million, but projected cumulative cases of COVID-19 would increase by nearly 80 percent by December, from about 28.8 thousand now to 52.2 thousand.

The Rand model also indicates allowing businesses – but not schools – to open completely could increase state income by $50 million but increase cases by 6,000 by December.

Here are LFC key indicators of New Mexico performance by domain:

  • Public safety. 1) Violent crime, per 100,000, New Mexico, 2018: 857, 2017: 779; U.S., 2018: 395, 2017: 381; 2) prison population, per 100,000, New Mexico, FY2020: 326, FY2019: 345; U.S., 2018: 431, 2017: 440; 3) total traffic fatalities: New Mexico, FY2020: 418, FY2019: 471; 4) alcohol-involved traffic fatalities, New Mexico, FY2020: 142, FY2019: 157;
  • Health and environment (all New Mexico statistics). 1) Birth to teens ages 15-19, per 100,000 females, 2018: 25.2, 2017: 27.6; 2) alcohol death rate, per 100,000 population, 2018: 70.3, 2017: 67.0; 3) heart disease and stroke death rate, per 100,000 population, 2018: 193, 2017: 198; 4) third-grade children who are considered obese, 2018: 23 percent, 2017: 20 percent; 5) New Mexicans receiving water that meets health standards, FY2020: 99 percent, FY2019: 97 percent; 6) days with good or moderate air-quality index rating, FY2020: 96 percent, FY2019: 87 percent; 7) adults who smoke, 2018: 15.2 percent, 2017: 17.5 percent;
  • Economics. 1) People in the labor force who are unemployed, New Mexico, June 2020: 8.3 percent (76,967), June 2019: 4.9 percent; U.S.: June 2020: 11.1 percent (17,750,000), June 2019: 3.7 percent; 2) change in employment, New Mexico, June 2020: -7.2 percent (61,283 jobs lost), June 2019: +1.3 percent; U.S., Jun3 2020: -8.6 percent (12.94 million jobs lost), June 2019: +1.3 percent; 3) average weekly earnings in private sector, New Mexico, FY2020: $798, up 4.6 percent, FY 2019: $763; U.S.: FY2020: $985, up 3.8 percent; FY2019: $949; 4) per capita income: New Mexico, 2019: $44,000, 2018: $41,700; U.S., 2019: $56,500, up 3.4 percent, 2018: $54,500; 5) children under age 5 living in poverty: New Mexico FY2018: 26 percent (124,000 children), FY2017: 27 percent; U.S.: FY2018: 18 percent (almost 13 million children), FY2017: 18 percent;
  • Education and child welfare (New Mexico statistics). 1) Children experiencing repeat maltreatment, FY2020: 14.1 percent, FY2019: 17 percent; 2) third-grade reading proficiency, FY2019: 30 percent (24,616 students), FY2018: 30 percent; 3) eight-grade math proficiency: FY2019: 20 percent (24,325 students), FY2018: 22 percent; 4) fourth-, seventh- and 11th-grade proficiency in science, FY2019: 34.9 percent, FY2018: 37.9 percent; 5) four-year high school graduation: FY2019: 74.9 percent, FY2018: 73.9 percent (U.S., 2018: 85.3 percent); 6) four-year completion rate at public four-year colleges: FY2019: 25 percent 82 (8,247 graduates) FY2018: 19 percent (U.S., FY2019: 38.8 percent (1,310,998 graduates), FY2018: 36.9 percent; 7) number of bachelor’s degrees awarded, FY2018: 7,193, FY2018: 8,159; 8) children served in state-funded prekindergarten: FY2020: 10,885, FY2019: 9,757.