The paid family medical leave benefit is intended to create a super-fund paid for by new taxes on employees and employers to allow eligible employees a medical benefit of 12 weeks of paid time off annually. This fund would be four times the size of the unemployment fund, or $460 million annually. Employees, our working families, would pay $5 for every $1,000 of pay, and employers would pay $4 for every $1,000 of payroll.

With inflation increasing prices, New Mexicans must keep every dollar they make. Raising this new tax, at this time, on the backs of our employees shows the lack of understanding that our elected officials have for the few working people in New Mexico. Just because the state has seemingly unlimited funds doesn’t mean our workers or businesses do. Now is not the time.

This fund is in addition to the Healthy Workplaces Act, which gives all working New Mexicans eight days of sick leave paid for by their employer. Businesses are still struggling to implement that act. Let them have time to properly execute it before starting yet another program that burdens small businesses.

Carol Wight is CEO of the New Mexico Restaurant Association.