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Health Department cut funding for Special Olympics New Mexico

Kai Porter
August 17, 2017 08:55 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- KOB has learned it was the Department of Health that made the decision to cut $310,000 in state funding to the New Mexico Special Olympics, citing “budget challenges.”

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Since 1982, Special Olympics New Mexico has relied on funding from the state, until it was cut earlier this year. Executive Director Randy Mascorella said the cuts amount to 30 percent of the non-profit’s operating budget.

"So it was a significant amount that will have a definite impact on our ability to support our programs," she said.

Mascorella said they've started a campaign to try and make up for the loss, but as of Thursday they had only raised about $50,000.

"Our campaign that we've been running is trying to solicit 310,000 New Mexicans to give a dollar," she said. "But getting the word out there and letting them know the sense of urgency has been a challenge."

The Department of Health declined an interview but issued this statement:  

As you know, the Department’s funding is determined by the Legislature.

Within the constraints of our current budget, we are continually looking at all contracts to determine how we can best provide a large range of safety net services and programs that have evidence-based, positive impacts for vulnerable families statewide. These include services like Family Infant Toddler (FIT) Program, Medically Fragile Waiver, Central Registry for DD Waivers, Mi Via Self-Directed Waiver, and a variety of other critical services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Despite budget challenges, we remain committed to ensuring that the rights and dignity of all New Mexicans with intellectual and developmental disabilities are fully realized, and are focused on improving their independence and quality of life.

KOB hosted a Pay It 4ward hotline Thursday evening. In only two hours, callers pledged $14,242. You can still donate online by clicking here

Credits

Kai Porter

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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