NM Resiliency Bill Aims to Help People Prepare for Climate Change
Tuesday, February 21, 2023
Worsening environmental conditions because of extreme weather and climate change are cited as why proactive legislation is needed by the New Mexico Legislature this session.
Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, is co-sponsoring the Public Health and Climate Resiliency Act, noting the state is prone to drought, extreme heat, wildfires and subsequent flooding, all of which can affect people's health.
Examples can include worsening asthma, heart conditions and other breathing issues from wildfires, while polluted water can cause lead poisoning or cancer.
Thomson said harmful weather events have a disproportionate impact on children's health because their bodies and immune systems are still developing, making them more susceptible.
"We have a lot of rural and a lot of poor people who don't have the luxury of having a swamp cooler or an air conditioner, and I worry about New Mexicans' health," Thomson stated. "We have a dire shortage of almost every health care provider."
Emergency room visits for respiratory issues during the 2022 wildfire season were estimated to be nearly 20% higher compared with previous years. The legislation has passed the Health and Human Services Committee and heads to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.
If passed, the bill would designate a total of $5 million dollars to create a Public Health and Climate Resiliency Program within the Department of Health.
Sen. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerillos, the bill's sponsors in the Senate, said to start, two staffers would be hired to oversee distribution of the money.
"The rest of the money would be grants of up to $250,000 that would be available to communities, tribes, Pueblos, towns, counties, cities to apply for, for technical assistance to do these evaluations," Stefanics outlined.
Stefanics said money distributed to various entities would be used to develop and implement response systems before extreme weather events take place.
get more stories like this via email
Health and Wellness
Most people probably never give a second thought to their visits to the dentist, but not everyone can navigate this process with ease. People with …
Christmas is a little more than two weeks away, and toy drives around the country are in full swing. A North Dakota organizer shares some things to …
A federal judge in Nevada has dealt three tribal nations a legal setback in their efforts to stop what could be the construction of the country's larg…
Hoosiers could get their holiday trees from any of about 200 tree farms in the state, according to the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association…
Reports from the Insurance Commissioner's office and the state Attorney General reveal an analysis of what they call "the true costs of health care" i…
Health and Wellness
The holiday season is filled with recipes passed down from years before, and feasting with family and friends. But think again before you have …
Connecticut lawmakers are reluctant to approve new emission standards that would require 90% cleaner emissions from internal-combustion engines and re…
While lawmakers and environmental groups strive to lower vehicle emissions and the nation's carbon footprint, many truckers see unrealistic …