Hospitals need safe staffing
AS A health care professional who worked during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I saw day-in-and-day-out the work our nurses do. I’ve also seen the stresses and pressure their job puts on them as staffing concerns grow and working conditions deteriorate.
… When they are understaffed and overworked, it directly impacts the quality of work they, and by extension, I, can do. I’ve witnessed my colleagues make the decision about who needs their time and attention first. I’ve seen our amazing nurses juggle the task of answering the call light of one patient while it is time for another patient to receive medication.
House Bill 236 establishes a way for our state to create long overdue “safe staffing ratios.” These ratios would be created by current nurses, hospital administration and the Department of Health based on best practice, statewide data and, most importantly, stakeholder input.
HB 236 is modeled after similar legislation successfully enacted in California. … If we have any chance at recruiting the nurses we need to deliver the quality of care our patients deserve, we need our state to take proactive steps to enact the necessary policies that establish and enforce safe staffing.
Terina Brown, Rio Rancho
Broadband bills lacking
TWO BILLS are making their way through the Legislature regarding broadband. SB 155 purports to remove subsidies paid to incumbent phone companies for legacy phone landlines. The incumbent phone companies want to keep an estimated $17 million in subsidies, which is what they were paid by the PRC in 2023, even if they lose voice line subscribers, until 2026. A landline is not required for DSL internet service. This $17 million takes away from the overall $30 million fund for broadband. The FCC reported in June 2017 incumbent phone companies served a minority of voice phone lines.
… Let’s urge our senators and representatives to make broadband a priority by removing the three-year payout.
HB 160 allows for the removal of fees NMDOT put in place for broadband providers to gain access to the public right-of-ways. This bill only allows for removal of these fees for underserved and unserved areas in New Mexico but will permit the fees for served areas (yet) served areas feed the unserved and underserved areas. Allowing for fees in one part of the state will create expensive broadband in other areas. A simple fix is to remove the fees for all broadband providers, just like they have done for electricity, gas and water. As the pandemic has shown, broadband is essential and needs to be given the same priority as other essential utilities.
Albert Catanach, Santa Fe
HB 7 subverts parents
(The) N.M. Legislature’s House Bill 7 Reproductive and Gender-Affirming Health Care is the most radical of all legislation in that it allows a child to dictate their medical care regarding abortion and gender-transforming treatment. It allows a child to dictate a name change, puberty blockers and “preferred pronouns” unobstructed and without parental knowledge.
Failure to call a boy “she” will result in a $5,000 fine. If a 15-year-old wants an abortion or puberty blockers, nurses, teachers and counselors must “affirm” that dictate, no matter how harmful that may be. It is not an overstatement to say the shift from adult and parent-centered authority to a child’s insistence is the most radical legislation Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will undoubtedly soon sign.
Jose D. Vasquez, Santa Fe
Leave bill bad for business
I OWN three small businesses in Albuquerque and am deeply concerned about Senate Bill 11. SB 11 would allow employees to take three months of paid leave every year for their own, or a family member’s, medical condition. As a lifelong Democrat, I understand how appealing this sounds, but as a small business owner, I must be able continue to operate my businesses. After two years of pandemic restrictions, many small business owners in our state are hanging on by a thread. New Mexico’s Legislature has already asked us to bear high minimum wage increases, as well as offering paid sick leave, all since the pandemic.
… The typical small businessperson has built their business through grit, determination and a deep desire to be a job creator. Yet many legislators seem to think small business owners are mini-Jeff Bezoses: awash in extra cash, hoarding it at employees’ expense.
… Stable employment by caring small businesspeople who treat our employees like family is how we end poverty. .. It is our local small businesses that make us unique. Please don’t let us lose them.
Jessica Carothers, Los Ranchos