NM House Passes Personal Information Protection: Expands Definition, Prohibits Sharing With Federal Agencies

STATE News:

SANTA FE – Today, legislation protecting New Mexicans’ personal information from being shared with federal agencies passed the House Floor and is now on its way to the Governor’s desk. 

Sponsored by Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (D-Albuquerque), Sen. Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics (D-Cerrillos), and Rep. Miguel Garcia (D-Albuquerque), Senate Bill 75 expands the definition of “personal information” in state statute and ensures the confidentiality of New Mexicans’ personal information, so they feel secure in accessing essential services, including COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and vaccinations. 

“What we’ve seen the past few years with misguided federal policies targeting members of our community is wrong,” Rep. Garcia said. “For state government to function and for citizens to feel secure, they need to know that their personal information is not going to be used against them. SB 75 provides that security and peace of mind in knowing that you can get a COVID-19 test, vaccination, or access state services and still be protected.”

Senate Bill 75 creates a non-disclosure policy within state statute that would apply to all state agencies, known as the “Non-disclosure of Sensitive Personal Information Act”. This new chapter requires state employees to keep confidential the sensitive personal information acquired by virtue of their position within a state agency.

The bill also expands the definition of “personal information” to include a person’s status as a recipient of public assistance or as a crime victim, as well as a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental disability, immigration status, national origin, medical condition or religion. 

Senate Bill 75 passed the New Mexico House of Representatives with a vote of 45-18 and will now make its way to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. 

Members of the public can track legislation on the New Mexico Legislature website, access committee meetings and House floor sessions via the Webcasts tab, or participate by Zoom to provide public comment on committee hearings. During the 2021 Legislative Session, the House of Representatives is focused on passing critical legislation while protecting the health and safety of the public, the staff, and the legislators.

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