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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR Picraux
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
2-10-06
HB 859
SHORT TITLE GRADUATE STUDENT CHILD CARE PROGRAM SB
ANALYST Lucero
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
$375.0
Recurring
General Fund
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
Duplicates SB721, Relates to HB203, HB363, SB159.
Relates to Appropriation in the General Appropriation Act
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
New Mexico Higher Education Department (NMHED)
No Response Received From
Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
House Bill 859 appropriates $375.0 from the general fund to Children, Youth and Families De-
partment for the purpose of providing child care assistance for persons who are enrolled in a
graduate or postgraduate degree program in a New Mexico public post-secondary institution.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
The appropriation of $375.0 contained in this bill is a recurring expense to the general fund. Any
unexpended or unencumbered balance remaining at the end of fiscal year 2007 shall revert to the
general fund.
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House Bill 859 Page
2
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
Childcare is one of the biggest expenses eating up many student parents' income. Balancing
childcare needs with pursuing an advanced degree or post-doctoral training program may, at
times, feel overwhelming. New Mexico needs to encourage our students and post-docs to suc-
cessfully achieve their higher education goals.
Most universities in New Mexico have childcare centers on site. Priority should be given to stu-
dent parents pursuing a graduate or post-graduate degree.
New Mexico Higher Education Department provided the following statement:
Currently the New Mexico State Regulation (8.12.2.11 M) for clients eligible for child care as-
sistance benefits (upon meeting the requirements for eligibility by the department and federal
regulation) state that child care will not be paid during hours in which a parent or guardian is
attending graduate or post-graduate courses.
This bill will support graduate and post-graduate students in New Mexico who are attending a
post-secondary institution and are at or below 150% of the federal poverty level. There are
25,000 children in child care subsidy, where 70% of the parents or guardians are working, 15%
are in school, and 15% are working and in school. The average cost per child across all age
ranges and income levels is approximately $3,240 annually.
PERFORMANCE IMPLICATIONS
More childcare coverage would be the result of this bill. More students may graduate with
graduate and post-graduate degrees.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
CYFD will absorb the administrative costs associated with this activity.
CONFLICT, DUPLICATION, COMPANIONSHIP, RELATIONSHIP
Duplicates SB721
Relates to HB203, HB363, SB159
TECHNICAL ISSUES
The bill does not specify whether the student parent must be enrolled full-time or part-time.
The bill does not specify an upper age limit for the child. A child six years old and attending
school may not need childcare during most of the day. The parent will most likely take classes
during the day.
The current regulation states that childcare is not available during hours the parent is in class.
This appropriation is in essence seeking an hourly childcare benefit. CYFD childcare benefits
are tiered in blocks of time, not by the hour.
The parent may be receiving childcare for most of the day; however, during the class type the
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House Bill 859 Page
3
parent is ineligible for the hours spent in class. If 15 percent of the childcare population is stu-
dents, then the percentage of students that are graduate or post-graduate are few in number. If
only hourly coverage is necessary, then this appropriation may be too large.
OTHER SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
CYFD should estimate how many hours are not being covered due to the regulation. CYFD
should establish an hourly rate for childcare.
ALTERNATIVES
CYFD could amend New Mexico State Regulation (8.12.2.11 M) to allow child care assistance
for hours during graduate or post-graduate courses.
CYFD could amend the childcare rates structure to include hours for graduate or post-graduate
parents.
WHAT WILL BE THE CONSEQUENCES OF NOT ENACTING THIS BILL
If this bill is not enacted; the recruitment and retention of graduate and post-graduate students in
New Mexico public post-secondary institutions will potentially be limited. Child care allows
these students to work toward completion of degrees and builds upon student success.
DL/nt