Stefanics, 112618 NMAGO, IAL 11262018

Docket Nº:IAL 11262018
Case Date:November 26, 2018
Court:New Mexico
 
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Senator Elizabeth Stefanics
IAL 11262018
New Mexico Attorney General Opinion
State of New Mexico Office of The Attorney General
November 26, 2018
          HECTOR H. BALDERAS ATTORNEY GENERAL          Senator Elizabeth Stefanics          New Mexico State Senate          P. O. Box 720          Cerrillos, NM 87010          Re: Opinion request - Use of volunteers at the New Mexico State Board of Nursing          Dear Senator Stefanics:          You requested an Attorney General opinion regarding use of volunteer committee members at the New Mexico State Board of Nursing (the "Board"). More specifically, you asked:          1) Are volunteers covered under the liability policies for the State of New Mexico when reviewing complaints and making recommendations for a disciplinary charge against licensed RN, LPH, Nurse Practitioner, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, or Medication Aide?          2) Are volunteers making site visits for the purposes of approval of nursing programs, both State and proprietary, appropriate given the proprietary nature of the information involved?          3) Are volunteer advisory committees and the complaint committee subject to the Open Meetings Act in the State of New Mexico including access to minutes?          Based on our examination of the relevant New Mexico statutes, case law authorities, Board policies, and the information available to us at this time, we conclude:          1) It is likely that a court would find that a volunteer, appointed by the Nursing Board to serve on one of its committees, is a public employee, as defined by the Tort Claims Act, working within the scope of his/her duties and therefore this volunteer would be covered by the liability policies of the State of New Mexico.          2) State law allows volunteers, appointed by the Nursing Board to serve on one of its committees, to make site visits for the purposes of approval of nursing programs.          3) The Open Meetings Act, and the requirement of minutes, is applicable only if a quorum of the...

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