Santa Fe, NM – Last night, by a vote of 42 to 24, the House of Representatives approved the conference committee report for Senate Bill 155, legislation to clarify ambiguities in New Mexico's workers' compensation law. The bill now moves to Gov. Martinez for her signature.
Senate Bill 155 would clarify a worker's entitlement to disability benefits when that worker returns to work or refuses a reasonable offer from the worker's employer to return to work. The legislation was developed in response to several court cases that revealed gaps in New Mexico's workers' compensation statute. It addresses the concerns raised by the courts and strikes an appropriate balance between the interests of workers and employers. Twenty-one organizations supported the bill, including the Workers' Compensation Advisory Council, the New Mexico Association of Counties, the Dairy Producers of New Mexico, and the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce
"New Mexico's workers' compensation laws can be broadly interpreted and they unnecessarily increase costs for businesses in our state,” said Rep. Randal Crowder (R-Curry). "Senate Bill 155 makes the necessary corrections to our statute to protect both employees and their employers. Importantly, it levels the playing field with surrounding states and makes us more competitive in attracting new businesses to New Mexico.”