SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – The New Mexico Department of Health asked the state legislature for more money saying they’re losing workers to neighboring states who offer more money. They say right now, they are 188 people short. Cabinet Secretary Dr. David Scrase told lawmakers staff shortages in their labs are causing delays in some DWI cases.

Story continues below

“We just can not be in a position where folks providing direct care and help to people in our nursing homes and hospitals, other facilities, are making substantially less than the people that work at McDonald’s,” said Scrase.

NMDOH is asking for a $370 million budget which is a 17% increase over last year. Meanwhile, the Department of Aging and Long Term Care also made its pitch. They are asking for a boost of $6 million that would go towards more staffing for in-home care for senior citizens.