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Thu Nov 26, 2020, 05:06 AM

Lawmakers may revisit payment for 'essential workers' in January

A last-minute effort to give lower-wage “essential workers” in New Mexico a one-time payment of $600 as part of an economic relief package Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law Wednesday foundered during Tuesday’s special session.

But the possibility of providing financial aid to New Mexicans who earn less than $15 an hour and have continued to show up for work despite the ongoing threat of COVID-19 may resurface when lawmakers meet again in January for a 60-day session.

“It’s something that definitely ought to be on the agenda for the January session,” Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, said Tuesday during an impassioned debate about the proposed amendment, which was also considered and shot down in the House of Representatives.

“We ought to begin thinking now about the mechanics of it and how it could be done,” he added. “But I think it would be incredibly risky to attempt to do it now. We run the risk of not being able to get the money out into people’s hands quickly, which is the whole point of this [relief package].”

Read more: https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/lawmakers-may-revisit-payment-for-essential-workers-in-january/article_2cfea05e-2f3c-11eb-83fe-dfc515efcfc3.html

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