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New Mexico Women’s Legislative Caucus endorses key legislation

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SANTA FE - New Mexico’s newly minted Women’s Legislative Caucus has selected its first round of nine key pieces of legislation supporting the state’s women, children and families.

The New Mexico Women’s Legislative Caucus has endorsed the following pieces of legislation with a minimum three-fourths vote in support.

HB 71 – School-Based Health Center Funding. Brings funding levels to school based health centers back to pre-recession levels. These health centers are throughout the state.

HB 135 – Sexual Assault Survivors Bill of Rights. Lays out rights for persons who have been sexually assaulted, including having their rape kit tested in a reasonable time, notification before a rape kit is destroyed.

HB 303 – Foster Family Park & Museum Free Admission.  Allows foster parents free admission into NM State Parks.

HB 399 – Waive Child Care Assistance Copays.  Waives copays for 3 and 4 year olds who attend 4 and 5-STAR childcare centers. The bill costs $2.2 million and will allow children to stay at one early childhood site for high quality services instead of moving around to save a copay.

HB 403 – Provider Parity Pay.  Asks the state to increase contracts for fee for service to meet the increased cost of implementing the new minimum wage. Cost is unknown, but without help domestic violence and homeless shelters, senior meal sites, child care, personal care providers and many more will be unable to meet their current obligations.

HB 436 – Align Health Insurance Law with Federal Law.  Protects people with preexisting conditions from being denied insurance or being charged more for insurance.

HB 447 – Track Children Between School & CYFD. Creates a unique tracking system between public schools, PED, and CYFD to ensure children who are truant are tracked between schools, those that leave the state, or who are homeschooled. This bill is in memory of Jeremiah Valencia, who was disenrolled from Las Vegas Public Schools and was never reenrolled in Santa Fe Public Schools.

SB 190 – Intimate Partner Survivor Suffrage.  Requires the Secretary of State to maintain voter participant registration records in a secured module. The registration records would not appear in the voter file or the county voter list and would not be accessible by any county user or the public.

HJM 10 – Child Protective Services Task Force.  Ask CYFD to form a committee and to study the needed reforms in child protective services.

The Women’s Caucus looks forward to the passage of this legislation to better the lives of all New Mexicans through improving the lives of women, children and families.

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