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New Mexico blocks right-to-work ordinances

March 28, 2019
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, holding her granddaughter Avery Stewart, and chief of staff John Bingaman, top left, urge members of the Legislature's powerful Senate Finance Committee to provide new funding for early childhood education on Friday, March 15, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M. Lujan Grisham wants to tap a multibillion-dollar education trust after creating a new agency to oversee early childhood programs. She brought her granddaughter to the hearing and said the state is making a "Sophie's choice" to educate some young children and not others. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)
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New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, holding her granddaughter Avery Stewart, and chief of staff John Bingaman, top left, urge members of the Legislature's powerful Senate Finance Committee to provide new funding for early childhood education on Friday, March 15, 2019, in Santa Fe, N.M. Lujan Grisham wants to tap a multibillion-dollar education trust after creating a new agency to oversee early childhood programs. She brought her granddaughter to the hearing and said the state is making a "Sophie's choice" to educate some young children and not others. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico is prohibiting local governments from enacting right-to-work ordinances that prevent employees from being required to join a union or pay union fees.

Democratic New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed legislation that asserts the state’s exclusive jurisdiction over union security agreements.

Ordinances have been approved by several counties in New Mexico that prevent employees from being required to join a union or pay related fees. Union leaders contend the local ordinances created confusion and undermined the labor groups.

Republican legislators and several Senate Democrats opposed the legislation from Reps. Daymon Ely of Corrales and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining.

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