Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has committed unused stimulus money to fund the Annual Clothing Allowance, providing a $50 payment per child to qualifying New Mexico families in order to pay for clothes for the upcoming school year. The program had been funded through the state budget in previous years but did not receive funding from the legislature for Fiscal Year 2012, although funding was requested in the Governor's Executive Budget Recommendation.
"With the new school year approaching, it's important that New Mexico's students have everything they need in order to succeed and focus in the classroom -- and that includes proper clothing," said Governor Martinez.
By law, discretionary stimulus funds must be used by the end of September.
In April, Governor Martinez deauthorized $2.6 million in discretionary stimulus funds to projects that would not be funded by this deadline, or were otherwise not the best use of tax money during these challenging economic times. The Governor has re-allocated these dollars to help provide basic services for New Mexico families -- some of the funding has been re-allocated toward rising fuel costs for State Police vehicles to increase patrols, as well as an extension of the supplemental food stamp program to help struggling families buy groceries.
Eligible clothing allowance recipients include clients of New Mexico's cash assistance programs. This year's clothing allowance will provide a $50 allotment per child and will be distributed in the month of August, for a total of $1.05 million. The New Mexico Annual Clothing Allowance is provided in addition to these assistance programs in order to purchase essential clothing for the school year such as uniforms and winter coats.