March 17, 2023

Displaced worker assistance bill heads to governor’s desk

Hannah Grover

The final day of operations at San Juan Generating Station

A bill that would expand the eligibility requirements for displaced workers to access Energy Transition Act funding passed the House of Representatives unanimously on Thursday and now heads to the governor’s desk.

The Energy Transition Act created three funds, including a displaced workers fund. This fund is intended to assist workers who lost their jobs as a result of the closure of the San Juan Generating Station and the San Juan Mine in northwest New Mexico.

The 2019 law set a one-year time frame for people to seek assistance from the displaced workers fund. However, layoffs began in 2020 and the funding was not available until last summer. That means some of the people who were laid off are ineligible to receive assistance through the displaced workers fund.

HB 449 would remove that time limit and allow the workers who lost their jobs dating back to 2020 to access the assistance.

The bill passed the Senate without debate.