Paid Family Medical Leave Act dies in New Mexico House

State Republican House Minority Leader Ryan Lane | New Mexico Legislature

By New Mexico Sun

Feb 21, 2024

The New Mexico Senate Bill 3, also known as the Paid Family Medical Leave Act, failed to pass in the New Mexico House of Representatives. This development has been perceived by many as a political upset. Critics of the bill argued that it would excessively increase taxes, leading to its defeat in the House with a vote count of 36 against and 34 in favor.

According to the New Mexico Legislature, the Paid Family Medical Leave Act was designed to establish a state-administered program. This program would have offered up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees under certain circumstances such as welcoming a new child, caring for a family member with serious health concerns, or managing their own significant health issue.

In a press release, the New Mexico Business Coalition stated that this bill “would have devastated New Mexican workers and businesses.” Despite this criticism, they did not rule out the possibility of New Mexican progressives attempting to pass another paid family medical leave bill in the near future.

As reported by Source New Mexico, SB 3 initially passed the New Mexico Senate with a vote of 25 in favor and 15 against on Feb. 9. However, when it came up for voting in the House, every Republican voted against it along with 11 Democrats. The act proposed creating a fund managed by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and funded through contributions from employers and workers.

Critics contended that additional taxes implied by this bill would have been harmful to small businesses. Ryan Lane, Republican House Minority Leader, conveyed his delegation’s dissatisfaction with this version of the Paid Family Medical Leave Act to KOB 4. He criticized it as being too “broad” and “expansive.” Republicans suggested they might support a more streamlined version of this bill.