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    New Mexico Governor Signs Bill to Require Paid Sick Leave | New Mexico News

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    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Thursday requiring that employers throughout the state provide paid sick leave to workers.

    Signed Thursday, the Democrat-sponsored legislation ensures that employees accrue an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 64 hours of leave annually.

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    The law takes effect on July 1, 2022 — a delay in concession to employers who argued that businesses already are under intense financial pressure from the pandemic.

    Democratic legislators argue the requirement is essential to ensuring public health and a stable workforce. They advanced the bill over unified Republican opposition in the state House and Senate.

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    Lujan Grisham said the coronavirus has driven home the need for paid sick leave.

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    “No one should ever be compelled to come to work when they are sick,” she said in a statement.

    The governor also signed a bill that increases the surtax on insurance premiums from 1% to 3.75% to shore up subsidies to health insurance policies for low- and moderate-income patients provided through New Mexico’s health insurance exchange.

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    The changes proposed by state Democratic Sens. Martin Hickey of Albuquerque and Jeff Steinborn of Las Cruces are offset by the recent elimination of a federal fee on insurance. The governor’s office says the law will eliminate copayments and cost sharing by patients to access mental health services.

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    Lujan Grisham, a first-term Democrat, also signed a bill that allows air-quality regulators in the Albuquerque area to adopt more stringent rules than current federal requirements and give the state a stronger hand in limiting air pollution.

    The governor has until Friday to sign or veto bills approved during a 60-day legislative session that ended March 20, including a $7.5 billion state spending plan for the coming year. The governor also can veto a bill from the closing days of the session by ignoring it.

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