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Three New Mexico Legislators Receive People’s Voice Awards

May 14, 2012

SANTA FE, N.M. - Two members of the New Mexico State Senate and one member of the House have received People's Voice Awards from Prosperity Works. The New Mexico nonprofit's president, Ona Porter, says the award is designed to show support for courageous leaders.

"When they get attention, what we're really doing is opening the public space to allow them to be more assertive than they have been in the past."

This is the second year of People's Voice Awards. The 2012 honorees are Sen. Linda Lopez and Rep. Gail Chasey, for their work on making home energy more available and affordable, and Sen. Dede Feldman, for a career that incorporated issues related to poverty and health care for all.

Feldman, who has represented District 13 for 16 years, says it has been the greatest experience of her life. Of the many issues she has taken on, a bill passed last year calling for health insurance company transparency tapped all the skills she had accumulated in her legislative career. Her bill scrutinized insurance company rate hikes, Feldman says.

"They now have to say why increases are justified. The bill also gives regulators a few more tools with which to say there's a certain point beyond which you cannot go."

Feldman will continue to serve as state senator through the end of this year.

Renee Blake/Beth Blakeman, Public News Service - NM