New Mexico’s 2021 Legislative Session is taking place from January 19–March 20, 2021 and will occur online due to the global pandemic. In spite of the challenges that this presents, NMCAN will continue to support young people to drive equitable and positive change for those impacted by systems.
In 2021, we are focusing on how New Mexico should follow best practice for who has the authority to remove children from their families and avoid unnecessary trauma to families. Protective Custody for Children, Senate Bill 324; read the draft of the bill (Senator Linda Lopez)
We also are following these bills that support young people and families:
- People experiencing homelessness should not have to pay a fee to obtain an ID card. The original bill applied to young people 25 and younger, but it was amended on the house floor to be more inclusive. Bill info: Homeless Youth ID Cards, House Bill 127 (Representative D. Wonda Johnson)
- People experiencing homelessness should not have to pay a fee to obtain a birth certificate. Bill info: Fees for Vital Records for Homeless, House Bill 179 (Representative D. Wonda Johnson)
- Young people experiencing homelessness must be allowed to work, and New Mexico should expand incentives to encourage employers to hire these youth. Bill info: Homeless Youth Employment Tax Credit, House Bill 118 (Representative D. Wonda Johnson)
- Parents, youth, and children in abuse and neglect cases deserve high-quality legal representation. New Mexico should create an Office of Family Representation to ensure effective advocacy and oversight. Bill info: Family Representation and Advocacy Act, Senate Bill 127 (Senator Linda Lopez)
- Legal counsel and other protections should be provided to parents who voluntarily give custody of their children to CYFD by signing a voluntary placement agreement. With these protections, subsidized kinship guardianships are an important option for families, keeping children with loved ones and minimizing trauma. Bill info: Senate Bill 97 (Senator Linda Lopez)
We will share more information as it becomes available. Please continue to visit this page to stay informed, or sign up for our newsletter or like our Facebook page. Please contact Director of Policy and Advocacy Arika E. Sánchez to learn more.
You can also join us on Thursday, February 4 at 12:30–1:00pm online to hear from young people about this year’s activities.