Members of the Santa Fe County Maternal and Child Health Planning Council are concerned the council will lose its funding under the county’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
Of the Board of County Commissioners’ five proposed budget scenarios for the sole community provider fund, none allocate funding to MCHPC. Created in 1992, the council connects state- and local-level agencies that work on early childhood issues. The MCHPC meets monthly, publishes an annual resource directory and provides resources to new mothers.
This fiscal year, MCHPC’s $58,206 budget covers a part-time salary for Director Lisa Garcia, as well as overhead and printing costs.
County Commissioner Liz Stefanics says the MCHPC could still be funded through the county’s general health budget, which won’t be decided on for several months. The county sole community provider fund budget won’t be finalized until the BCC votes on it in March, she says.
Nevertheless, Garcia and other MCHPC members aren’t optimistic.
“The way we’re looking at all five of the options, we’re zeroed out,” Garcia says.
At its Feb. 17 meeting, MCHPC members decried the large allocation the budget proposals make to the Santa Fe County Adult and Juvenile detention centers’ medical expenses, which range from $2-$2.6 million.
“We should just put the babies in jail now because they’ll get food, they’ll get shelter,” City of Santa Fe Children and Youth Commission Director Lynn Hathaway said at the meeting. “That’s where the money is.”