This came to us through Jim Crawford. I have pasted his entire email in order to show the representatives on the committee. Please take action to keep this bill from going forward.
Following are some comments I sent to the House Health Government and Indian Affairs Committee for their hearing on this bill 2-16.
——– Original Message ——–
|Subject:||Oppose HB 226 Hispanic Affairs Department|
|Date:||Fri, 15 Feb 2013 09:49:35 -0700|
|From:||James Crawford <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
|To:||James Madalena <email@example.com>, Nick Salazar <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Alonzo Baldonado <email@example.com>, Kelly Fajardo <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Nate Gentry <email@example.com>, Yvette Herrell <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Emily Kane <email@example.com>, Rodolpho Martinez <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Terry McMillan <email@example.com>, Elizabeth Thomson <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Luciano Varela <email@example.com>|
|CC:||Don Tripp <firstname.lastname@example.org>|
I oppose HB 226 Hispanic Affairs Department. This bill proposes to create a new cabinet level Hispanic Affairs Department and an Hispanic Affairs Commission. It creates a new cabinet secretary with two department divisions to create procedural rules. The new organizations will cost about $700 thousand per year to create and operate.
There is no rationale to support a cabinet level department like this. NM is one state in the US where the Hispanic population is in the majority. The majority is already well represented in every level of government in this state. A significant number of bills in this legislature are directed toward special needs of the Hispanic community.
Supposedly the department will be responsible for coordinating programs dealing with problems of health, economy, and education in the Hispanic community. Problems of poverty, health care, and education are not unique to the Hispanic community and efforts to correct such shortcomings need to be directed to the NM population as a whole. Why leave out other significant minority populations such as oriental or Caucasian?
We already have cabinet departments in this state to deal with all of the problems an Hispanic Affairs Department is supposed to address. The problems are universal to the whole population and proposed solutions by existing departments are designed to assistall our citizens not just the majority Hispanic population. This is as it should be.
During the 20th century we seemed to be erasing the lines between class and race. Now in the early 21st, I feel like we have reversed course and distinctions between class and race are becoming more contentious. I believe this bill will add to tension between class and race.
As for the Hispanic Affairs Commission, NM already has 300 or more boards and commissions sucking money out of the general fund. Many or most have no useful purpose. A commission on top of a department that is not needed is even more distasteful.
I feel this bill will be divisive, expensive, and duplicate the missions of other cabinet departments. A new department is unnecessary and should not be approved.