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New Mexico Legislature Seeks to Create Direct-Care Workforce Subcommittee

February 11, 2016

The New Mexico legislature is considering a bill that would create a legislative subcommittee focused on the direct-care workforce.

If enacted, the legislation would create a 15-member subcommittee that would make policy recommendations to the state Legislative Health & Human Services Committee.

In addition to members of the state House and Senate, the subcommittee would include members representing elders, people with disabilities, workforce advocates, and the workforce-development field.

The subcommittee would also include a direct-care worker and a “public member with knowledge and experience in direct home care.”

“The demographic makeup of our state is changing, so we need to revisit the way we provide support for our seniors and people with disabilities,” State Senator Michael Padilla (D), who introduced the legislation to the senate, told KRWG. “We need to start working on a long-term plan for long-term care.”

The identical House version of the bill was introduced by representative Sarah Maestas Barnes (R).

The legislation outlines several specific tasks the subcommittee would be expected to address, such as ensuring that the direct-care workforce knows their rights under federal and state labor laws, evaluating methods to recruit and retain direct-care workers, and analyzing the affordability of direct-care services in New Mexico.

New Mexico’s legislative session ends on February 18.

— by Matthew Ozga

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