Armstrong Bill to Help Workers Care for Sick, Elderly Relatives Heads to Governor’s Desk

Caregiver Leave Act Allows Employees to Use Already-Provided Sick Leave for Caregiving

Rep. Debbie Armstrong’s Caregiver Leave Act, HB 86 is headed to the governor’s desk after it passed the Senate on Friday and received House concurrence with less than 24 hours left in the 2017 Legislative Session. The widely supported bill would allow workers to use sick leave that is already provided by their employers to also cover absences for caregiving.

“Too many New Mexicans are in the Sandwich Generation,” Armstrong said. “My kids are grown, but my 88-year-old mother lives with me. We need to ensure that all workers are able to care for their sick and aging relatives without jeopardizing their job.”

Specifically the Caregiver Leave Act allows workers to use sick leave, if their employer already provides it, not just when they are ill, but also when they need time for caregiving.

According to a survey conducted by AARP New Mexico, which supports the Caregiver Leave Act:

  • 59 percent of New Mexicans surveyed are currently a family caregiver or had been one in the past.
  • 58 percent of those caregivers said they are employed full- or part-time.
  • 38 percent of caregivers reported having to take a leave of absence from their job for caregiving.
  • 26 percent of caregivers reported that they had to reduce their number of hours of work from full-time to part-time while caregiving.
  • 23 percent of New Mexico family caregivers left the workplace entirely. (In comparison, the national average for leaving work entirely due to caregiving is 10 percent.)

Further, AARP New Mexico found that of those surveyed who reported they are not currently caregivers, 56 percent said they expected to be a caregiver in the future.

“In New Mexico, we value family,” Armstrong said. “We want to be there for our parents and our kids when they need us. The Caregiver Leave Act would give working New Mexicans flexibility and make it easier for them to take care of their families and take care of themselves.”


HB 86 now heads to the governor’s desk. According to Legislative Council, the governor has 20 days after the session is over to take action on the bill. If the governor does not sign or veto the Caregiver Leave Act within the 20-day limit, it is pocket vetoed.


About Rep. Armstrong: Debbie, Chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee, is a long-time health care advocate serving her second term in the New Mexico House of Representatives. Having started her career as a physical therapist, she has worked extensively as a health care administrator, working 10 years with Presbyterian Medical Services in Santa Fe. Prior to serving as Secretary of New Mexico’s Aging and Long-Terms Services Department, she oversaw the department’s Consumer and Elder Rights Division. Debbie is the mother of three adult children. She lives in Albuquerque’s North Valley.  Follow her on Twitter @NMRepArmstrong and on Facebook, and sign up for email and text updates.

Do you like this post?

Showing 1 reaction

commented 2017-08-22 02:04:32 -0600 · Flag
Great post i love it because it is 100 % right i think Armstrong said right . As a result, patients have access to a clinical pharmacist’s services when needed. This bill will allow more clinical pharmacists to work with more patients and that means better outcomes.

Paid for by Debbie Armstrong for New Mexico, Jill Riester, Treasurer

Sign in with Facebook, Twitter or email.