The government shutdown is now in day 13. That means no federal funding for many programs and many employees. According to one study, New Mexico is the second most affected state in the nation.
The Land of Enchantment is truly enchanting.
“This sand is perfect,” said CBS reporter Mark Strassmann to park rangers. “I mean it’s perfect.”
But for the past two weeks, visitors haven’t been able to enjoy our National Parks because federal funding has been cut off.
During the shutdown, tens of thousands of federal employees and agencies are affected, and New Mexico has a lot of them.
WalletHub lists New Mexico as the second most affected state by this shutdown – factoring in the number of families receiving SNAP, which are federal food benefits; also federal contract dollars per capita. Our state is also in the top ten for highest number of federal jobs because of Sandia and Los Alamos National Labs, White Sands Missile Range, and the many other federal facilities we have, including NASA.
Another factor WalletHub looked at: access to National Parks.
“We’ve had to tell them that the park is shut down,” said Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Robert Defer.
Defer said the government’s shutdown has already trickled down to their town, which relies heavily on tourism from the caverns.
“Carlsbad National Monument has about 500,000 visitors per year,” said Defer. “That’s a big number that helps our community.”
And for New Mexican towns that rely heavily on tourism, the shutdown hits hard.
“We just hope that things can come to a solution very quickly,” said Defer.
The only other state affected more is the District of Columbia, and Maryland isn’t far behind New Mexico. The least affected state is Minnesota.