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Bill on union fees rejected in House committee

SANTA FE — A House committee on Wednesday rejected a proposal that sought to prohibit requiring someone to pay fees to a union as a condition of employment.
House Bill 169, jointly sponsored by four Republican representatives, was tabled on a 6-5 vote along party lines, with Democrats in favor of the motion to table the legislation.
Opponents described the bill as misleading and argued that relatively few workers in New Mexico are covered by a union but that unions are good for those they do represent.
“We need to do a better job of supporting workers, not only here but across the country,” said Rep. Bill McCamley, a Las Cruces Democrat and chairman of the House Labor and Economic Development Committee.
Supporters of the legislation said it would make New Mexico a more attractive place to do business and help grow the economy.
“If we don’t have jobs, this state will fail even more miserably than it does today,” Rep. James Townsend, an Artesia Republican and co-sponsor of the bill.