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Legislative Corner

October Report - Linda Siegle
The 2021 Legislative Session

It's hard to believe that with the pandemic, the election, schools opening at least partially and our personal lives in constant disruption, we must now also think about the 2021 legislative session. It’s the legislature and the governor who determine our next fiscal year’s budget and the legislature which must pass some essential (and sometimes not so essential) legislation to help New Mexico’s economy rebound. New Mexico can’t have a budget on July 2021 to run state government without the legislature meeting.

The 2021 session starts on January 19 and continues for 60 days. In a normal 60-day session, legislators introduce hundreds and hundreds of bills. In fact, in 2019 the House of Representatives introduced 695 bills (not including memorials and constitutional amendments) and the Senate introduced 675 bills. In order to pass and go to the governor to consider for her signature, most bills must have at least two committee hearings in each chamber and then each chamber as a whole must vote on the bills – a laborious and time-consuming process.

The Legislative Session During a Pandemic

The question is how are we going to do this in a pandemic? By most interpretations, the constitution requires that the legislature must meet in person. The special session in July made some adjustments for virtual participation, but many members still had to be in the capitol in each of the chambers. In fact, the Senate met with all but a few members present in person. That special session was for three days. What do we do when we have 57 more days of inside, in-person, constant physical proximity contact? A significant portion of state Senate members are over the age of 60 and though the House membership has become younger in the last four years, they too have their share of those individuals who are often considered at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. The law requires that the public must be able to participate in legislative activities. How does the public participate? How do the advocates and lobbyists have access to the legislators? How can anyone testify in hearings? We don’t know yet.

The Legislative Council Services and the Legislative Council Committee have discussed many ideas. Despite these discussions, nothing is definitive. More on this next month.

 

Legislative Issues & Concerns
Health Security for New Mexicans Campaign

NMNPC is a supporter of the Campaign. For more information about this important effort to provide universal health care coverage in New Mexico, click here.

APRN Compact

In 2015, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) proposed the APRN Compact. This documented presented significant issues for NPs and other APRNs in New Mexico. In 2018, the NMNPC Board of Directors worked with our lobbyist, Linda Siegle, to analyze the Compact and present the key problems identified. In August the NCSBN revised the Compact but the revision doesn't address the concerns identified in our analysis. Click below to read the 2020 proposed Compact and the 2018  NMNPC analysis.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners

Go to the AANP Advocacy Center for more information & to take action on the following current issues.

  • S296 & HR2150: Home Health Care Planning Improvement Act of 2019
  • S237 & HR808: Promoting Access to Diabetic Shoes Act











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