[New Mexico] Ban-the-box bill headed to governor's desk

A bill to remove the prior criminal convictions question from private sector job applications is on its way to the governor’s desk, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

The new bill removes criminal history checkboxes from initial job applications Under it, private employers may only consider previous convictions after an initial review of a job application and discussion of employment.

At least 11 other states - including California, Illinois and Washington - have adopted similar “Ban-the-box" regulations.

Democratic Senator Bill O'Neill, of Albuquerque, introduced the bill which cleared the Legislature by a 45-15 vote of the House. All Republicans who were present opposed the bill. In 2017 a similar bill was vetoed by former GOP Governor Susana Martinez.

Also headed for the governor is a bill to prohibit local governments from enacting right-to-work ordinances, preventing employees from being required to join a union or to pay union fees.

The bill was approved by a vote of 23-19, from Democratic Representatives. Three Democrats opposed the bill, as did Daymon Ely of Corrales and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe. Republicans

Several counties in New Mexico have approved these ordinances. The proposed legislation affirms the state's exclusive jurisdiction. Union leaders say the local ordinances are confusing and undermine the labour groups.

Last year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that government workers cannot be forced to contribute to labour unions representing them in collective bargaining.