Budget cuts could cripple New Mexico’s ability to respond to emergencies | KOB 4
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Budget cuts could cripple New Mexico’s ability to respond to emergencies

Nathan O'Neal
March 27, 2019 06:20 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Millions of dollars in proposed federal budget cuts could cripple New Mexico’s ability to prepare for and respond to large-scale emergencies, including terrorism, according to a state official.

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“This could be a catastrophic event for New Mexico if that funding is taken away,” said Jackie White, the Cabinet Secretary for New Mexico’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Congress is now considering a $691 million cut from the federal budget, which White said includes critical funds that provide training to local communities for all sorts of emergencies – from mass casualty incidents to natural disasters.

Last week, a major storm made its way through New Mexico which caused an “unprecedented” amount of damage in certain areas of the community.

Secretary White told KOB 4 the money in question also funds salaries for roughly two-thirds of her office staff. White also worries this possible budget cut could seriously impact safety all over the state, including efforts that “help us prepare and thwart terrorism along the border” and  “within our communities.”

Secretary White suspects the budgetary fallout would be more than monetary – with the real cost measured in human lives.

The federal budget is still in the works. However, Secretary White is hoping members of Congress will keep her concerns in mind.

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Nathan O'Neal

Copyright 2019 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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