Roundhouse Roundup, Feb. 7

Santa Fe New Mexican staff
Posted 2/7/20

Legislature quote of the day: "I know more about tattooing and body piercing than anybody should know."

Here's the latest goings-on from the Legislature:

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Roundhouse Roundup, Feb. 7


Days remaining in session: 14

Tell us what it costs: The House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill Thursday that would require private colleges to disclose the total estimated cost of attendance to prospective students. 

House Bill 17, sponsored by Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos, and Rep. Liz Stefanics, D-Cerrillos, is aimed at helping students make cost-efficient enrollment decisions and avoid “predatory recruitment practices.”

“Too many students are left with little choice but to go into untenable debt or give up on attending college because they don’t believe they can afford it,” Chandler said. The bill now moves to the Senate. 

Protections for pregnant workers: The House unanimously passed legislation that would prohibit workplace discrimination related to pregnancy or childbirth.

House Bill 25, the Pregnant Worker Accommodation bill, also would require "reasonable accommodation” for pregnant workers, which would mean “modification or adaptation of the work environment, work schedule, work rules or job responsibilities for as long as necessary,” as long as it does not cause “undue hardship on the employer.”

Helping McKinley: The House passed a measure by vote of 55-9 that would set up a local governing body in McKinley County aimed at fostering economic development to help the area cope with the blow of Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association's planned closure of its coal-fired Escalante Generating Station near Grants.

The initiative would help redevelop and repurpose the power plant facility and “try to find the best-fit companies to fill that location,” said Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, a Democrat who represents the area and is a co-sponsor of House Bill 8.

“This is a tremendous economic blow to my county,” Lundstrom said. "Without question, these are the highest-paying jobs we have in my county.”

Rep. James Strickler, R-Farmington, talked about the “shock” he felt when Tri-State made the announcement.

Lundstrom responded that “last year at this time, we had no idea that less than 12 months away there would be an announcement of this closure.”

Quote of the day: "I know more about tattooing and body piercing than anybody should know." — Rep. Linda Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, to a committee discussing licensing and regulation. Trujillo served as director of the state's Boards and Commissions Division, which licenses and regulates a number of professions, from 2006-10.


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