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New Mexico

New Mexico 2009 Legislative Roundup

A number of progressive reforms were enacted in New Mexico this year.  Green jobs and energy bills were some of the biggest measures that passed, along with a death penalty repeal and an anti-bias law.

New Mexico Enacts Wage Law Enforcement, Joins National Trend

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson recently signed a wage enforcement bill (H 489) to allow underpaid workers to collect their back wages plus twice that amount in damages. The bill was backed by community groups and labor unions as well as the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.  New Mexico now becomes the eighth state that allows workers to collect treble damages against employers violating the minimum wage — a key deterrent to employers to ensure compliance with the minimum wage. 

New England Leads Fight for Marriage Equality

On Monday, March 23rd, the Vermont Senate overwhelmingly passed (26 to 4) a bill legalizing same-sex marriage, making the state the first in the nation to take legislative rather than judicial steps toward granting marriage rights to same-sex couples.  Although House Speaker Shap Smith was confident a majority of representatives would vote in favor of the "marriage equality" act, Governor Jim Douglas revealed in a press conference Wednesday that he would veto the bill, though he did say he would accept a legislative override.

New Mexico House Approves National Popular Vote - 23rd Legislative Chamber to Support NPV

Last Friday, the New Mexico House of Representatives approved the National Popular Vote bill by a vote of 42-27, becoming the 23rd legislative chamber in the country to support adopting a system where the candidate winning the most votes for President nationally would win the election.  The vote in the House reflected polls in the state showing 76% support for moving to national popular vote.