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A House Memorial for the "Cliff Effect"

S. Baxter Clinton

A House Memorial that would send a message to the President of the United states to reduce the “Cliff Effect” and help end generational poverty was given a unanimous vote from the House Government Elections and Indian Affairs committee.

House Memorial 25 addresses the zone in between receiving social services and being able to become economically independent, whereas if an individual works too much they could lose their benefits and be left in short changed.

This is a situation that too many New Mexicans and Americans face.

Bill Sponsor Representative Ron Montoya explains the “cliff effect.”

“We're talking about how people were locked many times into a subsistence level of living because there is a penalty for earning too much. If you get a job while you’re on assistance and you earn too much money, if you go over that amount it's like dropping off a cliff. That is the name of the term, the ‘cliff effect’, you lose all of your benefits and it's not worth it.”

The Memorial reads “everyone should have the opportunity to work hard and achieve family economic security, and economic independence should be rewarded; and some policies are insufficient and keep hard-working parents from climbing the economic ladder.”

Representative Montoya offered a suggestion of a “staggered or stair” system to alleviate income increase for those that receive benefits so that they won't lose all assistance at a certain point.

Representative Dayan Hochman-Vigil was glad to see the bipartisanship with this memorial

“The fact that I see you and the speaker and Martinez working together on this idea that I think most of us, all of us, I can't speak for all us, but I think all of can agree that there's a real problem, its nonpartisan, it's not red or blue, but just straight up American.”

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.