Strong Families NM Provides Legislative Update

1490980263551
Strong Families NM Field Director Adrian Barboa speaks to community members at the Thursday evening event. Courtesy photo

Strong Families NM Provides Legislative Update

Staff Report

Strong Families NM held a legislative update forum Thursday, March 30 at the Northern NM Heritage Center (the Onate Center) in Alcalde to brief community members on what action occurred in the 2017 New Mexico legislative session that could affect families in New Mexico.

Participants shared a meal at the Thursday evening event and heard in-depth presentations on some of the key bills and legislation Strong Families NM and their partners worked on during the 2017 legislative session which ended on March 18. Strong Families NM Field Director Adrian Barboa presented legislative issues and answered the questions the thirty community members who attended the event.

Following the presentations, community members were asked for their input into what issues are most pressing for families in the Valley.


Local residents discuss education issues and add their thoughts to subject posters on the walls. Courtesy photo

These are some of the key bills and legislation Strong Families NM and their partners worked on during the 2017 legislative session that impact New Mexico families and what they briefed community members on during the Thursday evening event.

State Budget (HB-2)
HB-2 is the huge state budget bill that includes all state programs, including Medicaid, behavioral health programs, anti-violence programs, school funding, state infrastructure projects and much more. Strong Families NM reported to meeting attendees that further Medicaid cuts did not happen, but neither did funding increases. Strong Families NM reports that a funding increase is needed to cover more eligible people. The budget was passed and sent to the Governor but Governor Martinez is threatening to veto the budget and call a special session.


Medicaid for Infants & Toddlers and Home Visiting Program (SB-175)
SB-175 was a bill to allow Medicaid to cover home visits in order to help families learn about healthcare, child development and parenting skills.
The bill passed and is awaiting either signing or veto from the Governor.


Caregiver Leave Act (HB-86)
The Caregiver Leave Act would allow those who receive sick days through their employer to be able to use sick leave days to care for any loved one in need, rather than just for themselves. The bill was amended to more narrowly define “family” but passed and is awaiting the Governor’s decision.


Paid Paternal Leave Memorial (HM-48)
The Paid Paternal Leave Memorial would have allowed a study on how our state could have paid family and medical leave offered to all New Mexico workers. This would allow workers to get paid through a program so they could care for themselves, a new child, or any family member who needs care. The memorial passed committee but was not voted on before the session ended.


Pregnant Worker Accommodation Act (HB-179)
This bill, if enacted into law would allow reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers so they can get bathroom breaks as needed, have access to water and the ability to attend scheduled doctors’ appointments. The bill passed and is awaiting the Governor’s decision.

 

Advertisements