NM lawmakers consider covering health care premium costs for school personnel

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SANTA FE, N.M. — Lawmakers in Santa Fe are also working on a new set of proposals centered around educators in New Mexico, including a plan to cover health insurance costs for all teachers and school workers.

House Bill 102 is sponsored by Doña Ana County state Rep. Raymundo Lara. Proponents believe that improving education starts with helping educators.

“If we can hire, recruit and keep the best of the best, that will certainly trickle down to our kids, and our children will have the best advantage that they can to succeed,” Lara said.

Lara couldn’t say how much the proposal could cost, but he is confident there is enough money in this year’s budget to cover it. However, the Albuquerque Teachers Federation is worried about future years.

“When oil and gas revenues are down, will we be able to sustain that effort?” said Ellen Bernstein, ATF president. “Or will we be in a position some time in the future, where it’s a question of health insurance premiums and backing off or getting a raise and going forward there? That’s what happens during every legislative session.”

HB 102 was approved by Wednesday morning by the House Education Committee.

Track HB 102 during the legislative session.