Sharpton Speaks To NM Legislature

New Mexico – Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is coming to the defense of public employees as he visits New Mexico.

Sharpton is to speak Friday to a joint session of the Legislature to commemorate African-American Day in the state.

In advance of his appearance before lawmakers, Sharpton said in a statement that it's unfair for government employees to bear the brunt of state budget cuts.

The Legislature and Gov. Susana Martinez have proposed requiring public employees and some educators to pay more for their pensions while the state trims its contributions. The pension shift will save the state tens of millions of dollars.

Sharpton said there's a historic relationship between civil rights and the labor movement.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.