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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

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The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

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Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

Advocacy groups want NM's Governor to halt special legislative session

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024   

New Mexico advocacy groups are calling on New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to cancel next week's special session where lawmakers are scheduled to debate public safety legislation. The coalition, which includes progressive-leaning groups that support the governor on many issues, wants community experts consulted before laws are passed.

Marshall Martinez, Equality New Mexico's executive director, said the proposals on next week's agenda are rushed - and would present complicated policy changes to behavioral healthcare, addiction treatment and homelessness.

"We're talking about the ability of the state to force someone into an inpatient treatment center without their consent, and we're talking about things like criminalizing panhandling," Martinez said.

In addition to Equality New Mexico, the coalition that sent a letter to the governor on Tuesday includes the ACLU of New Mexico, the Center for Civic Policy, Common Cause New Mexico and the New Mexico Conference of Churches. On Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Governor said calling off the special session is not an option.

Martinez believes advice from community experts who provide mental health and other public safety-related services should have been sought by the governor's office prior to the session being scheduled to ensure legislation provides lasting solutions.

"You have to come to the table with community-based organizations, like those of us who've been working on these issues for years, and engage us in a conversation about what will work," he continued. "Good policy isn't made in a vacuum on the 4th floor of the State Capitol building."

He also noted an obvious lack of consensus between Democratic and Republican lawmakers on the legislative proposals, and said the short session does not include opportunities for community feedback.

Disclosure: Equality New Mexico contributes to our fund for reporting on Civil Rights, Human Rights/Racial Justice, LGBTQIA Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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