Bold legislation for the health and well-being of New Mexican families await the governor’s signature. You can help!

Together we had groundbreaking and unprecedented victories this legislative session. Your dedication and countless phone calls, emails, and comments in committee hearings worked! Monumental efforts like paid sick leave, access to affordable healthcare, students’ access to culturally appropriate services, and more could be a reality for New Mexico’s families. 

We need your help to get these bills signed and over the finish line! Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has until April 8 to sign legislation and has started the process already.

Please contact the governor this week and ask her to sign HB 20, SB 71, HB 112, SB 317 and HB 287. Call her office at (505) 476-2200 and leave a short message, or email her using this form: https://www.governor.state.nm.us/contact-the-governor/.

  • HB 20 Healthy Workplaces Act will ensure that employees accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Only about half of all workers in New Mexico currently have paid sick leave.
  • SB 71 Patients’ Debt Collection Protection Act prohibits collections against low-income patients for hospital and certain medical facility bills and will help families get connected with healthcare coverage that can pay for their care.
  • HB 112 Non-Discrimination in State and Local Healthcare Programs will make it illegal to discriminate against immigrants in any healthcare program funded solely with state or local dollars.
  • SB 317 Healthcare Affordability Fund and No Behavioral Health Cost Sharing will raise more than $120 million to drive down healthcare costs and get coverage for tens of thousands more people, laying a foundation toward healthcare for all.
  • HB 287 Access to Culturally Appropriate Services will require the state to assess gaps in health and social services in the public schools and create a task force to recommend policy changes to ensure adequate, culturally responsive services. 

This session, we also got very close to passing major legislation for a 36% rate cap on predatory lending, housing protections, access to healthy foods, and built momentum for language access in government services, repealing minimum wage exclusions, SNAP improvements, and more. We will continue pushing for these important changes into the future.

Now, let’s get the bills passed made into law.


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