54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - second session, 2020


Antonio Maestas and Marian Matthews and Daymon Ely

and Joy Garratt








     WHEREAS, the Annie E. Casey foundation kids count data center ranks New Mexico fiftieth with respect to child well-being; and

     WHEREAS, twenty-seven percent of children in New Mexico live in poverty that is likely generational; and

     WHEREAS, from July 2018 to June 2019, eleven thousand five hundred twenty children in New Mexico had a case of abuse or neglect substantiated by the children, youth and families department; and

     WHEREAS, ten percent of children in New Mexico will have a parent incarcerated at some point in their lives; and

     WHEREAS, one out of four children in New Mexico experiences food insecurity; and

     WHEREAS, an estimated twenty percent of children in New Mexico have one or more emotional, behavioral or developmental issues; and

     WHEREAS, adults in New Mexico have some of the highest rates of alcohol-related deaths and deaths attributable to suicide and also a high prevalence of mental illness, according to the "State of Health in New Mexico 2018" report by the department of health; and

     WHEREAS, there is ample evidence that these issues have correlating and related root causes and symptoms; and

     WHEREAS, for many families in New Mexico, these root causes and symptoms are addressed in silos by multiple government systems and agencies, including the department of health, the public education department, the human services department, the children, youth and families department and the corrections department; and

     WHEREAS, New Mexico appleseed estimates that New Mexico may be spending nine hundred million dollars ($900,000,000) annually on sixteen thousand of these complex and fragile multi-system families; and

     WHEREAS, the legislature has difficulty determining if appropriations to state agencies have resulted in positive or negative outcomes; and

     WHEREAS, state agencies have difficulty effectively targeting interventions, evaluating programs or developing evidence-based policies; and

     WHEREAS, the creation of a state entity focused on addressing root causes and symptoms by providing the evidence to state agencies, the legislature and researchers to effectively target interventions, evaluate programs and develop effective policies is critical to ending the cycles of poverty, abuse and neglect, incarceration and poor educational, health and life outcomes; and

     WHEREAS, the late Senator Carlos R. Cisneros supported the creation of such an entity to assist with policymaking to improve the lives of children in New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, the proposed family success lab could identify policies to improve outcomes for multi-system families and improve the overall well-being of children in New Mexico; and

     WHEREAS, the proposed family success lab could assist agencies in how they evaluate their programs and promote good stewardship of taxpayer dollars;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO that the department of health be requested to study the feasibility of establishing a pilot program for the proposed family success lab, to be the research and analytic arm of the state and use anonymized data to evaluate programs and develop evidence-based policy; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the department of health be requested to work with other state agencies to identify the following:

          A. administrative data that would be relevant to the mission of the family success lab;

          B. legal, administrative and technological solutions to sharing administrative data;

          C. best practices with respect to data stewardship, security, anonymization and ethics;

          D. any other existing data integration efforts that can be leveraged to implement the family success lab;

          E. options to address research questions affecting multi-system families and children in New Mexico; and

          F. sustainable funding streams for the family success lab; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the department of health be requested to report its findings and recommendations to the office of the governor and the appropriate interim legislative committee by November 1, 2020; and

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be transmitted to the secretary of health, the secretary of public education, the secretary of human services, the secretary of children, youth and families and the secretary of corrections.

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