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Pressure mounts for language services at New Mexico agencies

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By MORGAN LEE
Associated Press

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico welfare agencies are coming under new pressure from a federal judge and state lawmakers to expand translation and oral interpretation services to minority households that don’t speak English or Spanish. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Tuesday requiring that major state agencies study the need for language assistance services and report back to the governor and Legislature. A federal judge based in Las Cruces has ordered the state Human Services Department that oversees food stamp and Medicaid benefits to change its automated phone system to offer access to benefits in additional languages. New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty Legal Director Sovereign Hager says many local residents struggle to find adequate language services to apply for benefits.

Article Topic Follows: AP New Mexico

Associated Press

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