The Bernalillo County Commission is scheduled to vote on a paid-time-off ordinance that is substantially the same as the one Albuquerque voters rejected in a recent election, but it appears that certain county commissioners think they know better than the voters.
Even supporters of a sick leave proposal should be suspect of the county’s methods of writing and proposing the paid-time-off ordinance they plan to vote on Tuesday night.
The ordinance was introduced at the May meeting to be voted on the following month. There were no public hearings, no committee meetings and no opportunities for voters or businesses to have input prior to the introduction. During the month between bill introduction and the scheduled vote, the county commissioners who sponsored this ordinance have refused to meet with numerous business groups representing many constituents in their districts.
Now, there’s evidence the county is hiding information about the sick leave ordinance from the public. Public records requested from the county regarding the sick leave issue and debate have not been received. Under New Mexico’s Inspection of Public Records Act, we have a right to receive copies of relevant communications involving county commissioners and other county officials on this issue, yet the county has not responded to a request for public records made over six weeks ago.
This ordinance is part of a national political agenda and was written by the same out-of-state lawyers and special interest groups trying to trick voters into passing an extreme law with the ballot initiative Albuquerque voters rejected in 2017.
Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins, the main sponsor of the bill, doesn’t have a single constituent in her district that will be affected by this ordinance. All of the businesses in her district are in the city, so she has no “dog in this fight” except to score a big win for her next political office with national and out-of-state supporters.