Action Alert: Tell the Governor that NM workers need paid sick leave!

Please call the Governor by Friday and urge her to support paid sick leave!

About half of all workers in New Mexico lack paid sick leave. They have to either go to work sick or lose wages or risk losing their jobs to care for themselves or a loved one. 

HB 20 is being heard today in its final House committee before it moves to the House floor. 

The Governor has stated that paid sick leave might be premature this year. We know New Mexicans need paid sick leave now, especially during a pandemic!

You could share a personal story about why you and other workers need paid time off when you are sick. You could also say or write something like this: “I urge Governor Lujan Grishamto support HB20 for paid sick leave. No one should have to choose between their health and their paycheck, but for the roughly half of all New Mexico workers who lack paid sick leave, this is the reality.”

You can leave her a message via this form: https://secure.everyaction.com/LRhT0gD3g0q0_9f90xoM2Q2

After you fill it out, her office will immediately call you back and ask you to leave a message. It is an automated call and not a live person on the phone.

Action Alert: Support legislation to strengthen housing stability in NM!

All New Mexicans need access to housing

On Monday at 1:30 p.m., the Legislature’s House Judiciary Committee will consider House Bill 111, which would modernize our housing laws to strengthen housing stability, reduce barriers to housing, and establish a statewide entity for housing policy.

We need your help to provide public comment at the hearing in support of this bill!

New Mexico was already in a housing crisis before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unless we take action now, there will be a tidal wave of evictions as soon as the public health emergency ends, threatening our health and economic recovery as a state.

New Mexico has some of the shortest eviction time frames in the U.S.—often too short to access rental assistance, resulting in tenants being evicted and landlords losing income even when rental relief is available. Other tenants face discrimination or even eviction when landlords reject rental assistance or other lawful sources of income used to pay rent.

HB 111 would stop this discrimination and expand the eviction timeframes to allow tenants to get caught up on their rent and stay in their homes.

Instructions:

When: 1:30 p.m., Monday, February 15

How to join: Please click the link below to join the webinar: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89543370073 Or iPhone one-tap : US: +16699009128,,89543370073# or +12532158782,,89543370073# Or Telephone: Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location): US: +1 669 900 9128 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 646 558 8656 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799 Webinar ID: 895 4337 0073

What to expect during the hearing: The committee will be taking public comment. The chair of the committee (Gail Chasey) will announce the bill and ask who supports HB 111. At that time, to provide a comment use the Zoom reaction button and raise your hand. The Chair will call your name and unmute your zoom when it is your turn to speak.

HB 111 summary: http://nmpovertylaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/Factsheet-2.pdf
House Bill 111 modernizes the New Mexico housing code by: 1) improving the balance between the rights of landlords and the rights of tenants, so families who can pay rent and comply with their lease are not evicted, 2) reducing barriers to housing for New Mexicans using housing vouchers and other lawful sources of income such as social security income to pay rent, and 3) creating a statewide housing council to address housing policy and coordinate state resources directed to addressing housing in New Mexico.

Tips for public comment:

  • Keep your remarks brief and to the point. 
  • If you have a personal story about being unable to access housing because you pay rent with a voucher or other source of income that doesn’t come from a job, or you have a personal story about being evicted because you were temporarily behind on rent, please share it.
  • When you login to Zoom, please rename yourself with your full name so the moderator can find you easily.
  • Make sure you are not muted when you start speaking.
  • Do not rely on your computer or phone for notes. Write them down or print them, just in case your computer screen freezes.
  • Close other tabs and windows in your browser to make sure your connection is good.
  • If your connection or microphone doesn’t work, be prepared to call in with the information above.

All New Mexicans deserve access to fair loans.

With your support, Senate Bill 66 passed the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee! The bill would require an all-inclusive 36% APR cap in New Mexico. We need your help to get it through the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Monday at 1:30 p.m.

New Mexico has one of the highest interest rate caps in the country. Lenders across the state are making loans with annual interest rates of 175% APR. A family who borrows a storefront loan for just a few hundred dollars will end up paying hundreds, even thousands of dollars in interest and fees.

It’s time for New Mexico to have a 36% APR cap to ensure all New Mexicans have access to fair and affordable loans. Please call or email members of the committee TODAY and urge them to support an all-inclusive 36% cap.

You might share a personal story with legislators about why no one should be allowed to charge triple-digit interest rates. You might also share why you support the bill. For example: “I urge the Senator to support SB 66 for an all-inclusive 36% cap on storefront loans. No one should have to choose between paying their rent and making payments on a triple-digit loan. All New Mexicans deserve access to fair and responsible credit.”

You may also comment during the online hearing MONDAY at 1:30 p.m. To comment, send an email to SJC@nmlegis.gov with your name, whether you are in support or against, and whether you would like to give public comment by Sunday, February 14 at 5:00 p.m. If you wish to provide written comments, keep them to 300 words or less. You will be contacted by the Zoom Operator with the virtual meeting instructions.

Contact information for the senators is below.

Sincerely,
Lindsay Cutler

Senate Judiciary Committee

  • Senator Joseph Cervantes (Chair): (505) 397-8820; joseph.cervantes@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Bill O’Neill (Vice Chair): (505) 397-8838; oneillsd13@billoneillfornm.com
  • Senator Cliff Pirtle: (505) 986-4369; cliff.pirtle@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Gregory A. Baca: (505) 986-4877; greg.baca@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Katy Duhigg (co-sponsor of SB 66): (505) 397-8823; katy.duhigg@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto: (505) 397-8830; daniel.ivey-soto@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Linda Lopez: (505) 397-8833; linda.lopez@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Mark Moores: (505) 986-4856; mark.moores@nmlegis.gov
  • Senator Mimi Stewart: (505) 397-8853; mimi.stewart@nmlegis.gov

Summer Law Clerkship

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty (NMCLP) Summer Law Clerkship is a paid 10-week,  full-time summer position working to advance economic and social justice for an outstanding first or second-year law student. The Law Clerk will receive a $6,000 stipend and will work closely with  NMCLP attorneys in one or more of our areas of work doing legal research, drafting pleadings and  advocacy materials, and performing issue analysis, investigation, and outreach to partner  organizations and community members. The NMCLP Law Clerk will work with one or more of the  teams: Healthcare, Public Benefits, Education, Economic Equity. Please visit our website for more  information about our work at www.nmpovertylaw.org. 

Application Deadline: March 1, 2021 

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and law school transcript to  Felipe Guevara at contact@nmpovertylaw.org. Enter in the Subject Heading: “NMCLP Summer Law  Clerkship”. If you have a particular interest in one of the areas listed above, let us know about it in  your cover letter.

2021 Legislative Priorities

Dear Friends,

In the midst of incredible challenges, what we fight for—healthcare, housing, income and food support, workers’ rights, and educational opportunities—has become even more urgent. As we enter into the thick of 2021 Legislative Session, the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is collaborating with our community partners and policymakers on multiple bills to provide policy and legal expertise and advocacy.

  • Affordable healthcare
    New Mexicans need access to medical care without worrying if it will crush them financially. These four bills championed with our coalition NM Together for Healthcare, would generate revenue for affordable healthcare initiatives and decrease barriers for immigrants and patients without insurance.
  • Statewide paid sick leave
    About half of all workers in New Mexico lack paid sick leave. No one should have to choose between going to work sick, losing wages, or losing their jobs to care for themselves or a loved one. HB37 would ensure that employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.
  • 36% rate cap
    Credit needs to be fair, safe, and equitable, but New Mexico’s interest rate cap of 175% APR is none of those things. We are urging our elected leaders to pass a meaningful interest rate cap of 36%, similar to a growing number of other states.
  • Transform education
    Along with our coalition Transform Education NM, we are fighting for multiple reforms that address long-standing inequities and insufficient resources in our education system as ordered in the Yazzie/Martinez court ruling.
  • Prevent evictions
    All New Mexicans need access to housing. With partnering attorneys and community-based organizations, we are advocating for far reaching legislation that would strengthen housing stability, reduce barriers to housing, and establish a statewide entity for housing policy.
  • Boost SNAP access and benefits
    Nothing is more fundamental to our well-being than food. Unfortunately in New Mexico, we have among the highest rates of hunger in the country. Along with several other groups, we are advocating for the state to seek all available SNAP waivers, including the ABAWD waiver, to protect New Mexicans from harsh requirements that prevent families from putting food on the table.

These efforts have been building through the important work of our community over the years and now is the time to get them passed. Keep an eye out for opportunities to get involved and stay up to date by following us on social media.

Sincerely,
Sireesha Manne