Key Legislation Rejected In The House

The Democrat-led state House in New Mexico on February 14 narrowly rejected a measure that would have required employers to provide paid family leave, following strenuous opposition from the business community, the Associated Press reported.

The legislation, which failed in a 34 to 36 vote, would have required employers to provide up to 12 weeks of leave for workers dealing with a seriously ill family member, or caring for loved ones or newborns, including for parents who foster or adopt children.

The family leave measure would have also applied to workers who are seeking a protection order or counseling due to domestic violence, abuse, assault, or stalking.

Republican state Rep. Alan Martinez said he voted against the measure because the business community and the state House were both against it. He said businesses should be allowed to determine what is best for their employees.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Christine Chandler, a Democrat, argued that the legislation would be a net benefit to employers hoping to create a stable workplace and retain good employees.

Every Republican lawmaker, as well as 11 Democrats, voted against the bill.

In a separate February 14 vote, the state House approved a bill against voter intimidation that would bar open carry of firearms within 100 feet of voting locations and ballot drop boxes. The bill exempts those with a license for concealed carry.

If signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, the law would go into effect before the state’s June 4 primary.

Multiple states, including Arizona, Florida, and Georgia prohibit firearms at voting locations.

Additionally, the New Mexico state Senate approved a bill that would require political ads to include a disclaimer if they include images, audio, or video created through artificial intelligence.

Violators would face a misdemeanor charge for the first offense and a felony charge for the second offense.