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

Facing this Emergency Together

Friends,

Protecting our families, loved ones and community is at the top of all our minds as we face this public health emergency together. The Covid-19 pandemic brings enormous challenges—practicing social distancing for our health and safety, while also responding to the economic consequences. As businesses close down, thousands of people are losing their jobs. More than 10,000 New Mexicans filed for unemployment benefits in just one week. 

This crisis exposes long-standing inequities for working families, and demands urgent action. It has made it abundantly clear that what we fight for—healthcare, housing, income and food support, childcare, workers’ rights, and educational opportunities—is fundamental to our communities.

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty sent recommendations to our state leaders calling for a united and comprehensive response. We have been circulating “know your rights” information and critical updates about actions being taken at the national and state levels to bring down healthcare costs, expand income assistance, and prevent evictions and utility shut offs. Please join us in sharing this information widely with your networks and on social media, and stay tuned for alerts about ways to get involved as we work with you and our community partners on solutions.

We thank our Governor and policymakers for their leadership. We know there is much more to do. We vow to stand with you as we face this together.

Sincerely,
Sireesha Manne