Chandler Discusses Her Pre-Filed Bills For 60-Day Session

Rep. Christine Chandler, Dist. 43

From the Office of Rep. Christine Chandler:

Dist. 43 Rep. Christine Chandler (D-Los Alamos) announced this morning that she is sponsoring four pre-filed bills for the upcoming 60-day legislative session.

These bills are part of a broader effort by Rep. Chandler and her House Democratic colleagues to introduce legislation that is not only aimed at helping families and small businesses get back on their feet, but also at lifting the state up and creating opportunity for a generation, she said.

Rep. Chandler is sponsoring the following pre-filed bills:

The Healthy Workplaces Act (HB 20), with co-sponsors by Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Albuquerque) and Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), addresses the need for sick leave, including for care of family members, for many New Mexico workers, especially in small businesses with low-paid employees.  The bill requires employers who do not have sick leave policies to establish one and sets minimum standards.

Water Leases and Effective Dates (HB 30), co-sponsored by Senator Peter Wirth, addresses an ambiguity in the language of the Water Leasing Act that has been exploited by various commercial interests in cooperation with the State Engineer to transfer potable water rights from agricultural and other sources without meeting the due process standards that apply to all other water transactions in New Mexico.

Paid Family & Medical Leave Act (HB 38), co-sponsored by Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque), provides for paid leave to allow the employee to bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child , or to care for a family member with a serious health condition. It is paid for by a state-administered fund into which employees contribute.  Self-employed persons may opt-in to the program. 

The Low-income Comprehensive Tax Rebate Changes (LICTR) (HB 42), amends an existing statute with an updated schedule for tax rebates for low income individuals and their dependents. The rebates are means-based.  The idea behind this section of the tax code (LICTR) is to reimburse these extremely low-income persons for state taxes they have paid under New Mexico’s regressive tax system primarily due to the state’s heavy reliance on gross receipts taxes.

Reliable and affordable internet: Chandler has been working since last May with a group of eight Representatives to study and understand the reasons that New Mexico is behind in adequate internet access. The team expects to draft a bill that puts forth a comprehensive and centralized plan to make major headway in addressing the issue of poor internet connectivity across the state and particularly in rural communities. 

These bills and other Democratic legislative priorities will put New Mexico in a unique position to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis as a real leader in supporting and uplifting hardworking New Mexicans and businesses, Rep. Chandler said.

The 60-day session starts at noon Tuesday, Jan. 19, and will be almost entirely virtual. The public may watch committees through the Legislature’s webcast system and offer public comment via Zoom or by calling in.

Find and download the bills discussed here at https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Sponsor . Select Rep. Christine Chandler in the pulldown menu.

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