Legislative health group chooses top three topics for 2023


The committee in the New Mexico Legislature that is in charge of health problems developed its agenda for the remainder of 2023, placing a particular emphasis on the prevention of child abuse and neglect, the treatment of substance use disorders, and the expansion of the health care workforce.

On Monday, at its first meeting after the end of the parliamentary session, the parliamentary Health and Human Services Committee looked through the feedback it had received from members of the legislature as well as the general public about the themes that it ought to address.

After five hours of deliberation, the committee chair, Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino, and the vice chair, Representative Liz Thomson, both of whom are Democrats from Albuquerque, decided on three priority policy issues that they would reserve for two-day sessions set to take place between the months of July, August, and September.

There were a great number of other issues pertaining to health policy that the legislators intended to talk about this year, and some of those issues could be brought up over the 18 days of sessions that are still scheduled for October, November, and December.

The committee will meet 24 days in 2023.

“That seems like a lot, but we also have, by my count, requests for 6,719 different topics to consider from the various advocacy groups, from legislators, from constituents, from anyone and everybody,” Ortiz y Pino added. “Because the purview of this committee is so broad.”

Ortiz y Pino stated that the group’s proposals will need to be approved by other departments of the state government regardless of what the committee decides to do.

“We’re not solving these problems by ourselves; we’re making a major contribution to a solution,” he remarked.

“I believe that is something that we are capable of doing; however, it would require some genuine give and take among us, as well as a willingness to put ourselves out there, to say what we truly think, and then to be willing to accept one another’s criticisms of it or disagreement with it,”

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