June 18, 2020

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (6/18/20 edition)

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This daily recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every weekday. Sign up here.

See all of our COVID-19 coverage here.

  • With the newest numbers released from the state Department of Health, the state now has found more than 10,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Read the details here.
  • Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham sent a release on what can be discussed during the special session, including some COVID-specific things, like mail-in ballots for November’s elections. Read what she put on the call here
  • The Navajo Nation reported 75 new COVID-19 cases and three additional deaths related to the disease. With the new announcement, there have been 6,747 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3,342 individuals who have recovered, and 332 deaths.
  • Legislative finance committees in each chamber started discussing the budget that will dominate talks during the special session for the next few days, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. The budget has a big hole because of COVID-19 impacts.
    • Some superintendents said proposed cuts would be disastrous for their students, and that CARES Act funding wouldn’t help because much has already been spent. Read our story here.
    • New Mexico In Depth wrote about the risk to education equity as well. 
    • Two legislators want rent relief to be on the call, but it doesn’t appear likely. Read our story here.
    • Environmental groups acknowledge there will be cuts to the state’s two main environmental regulatory departments, but hope to cap the cuts to 3 percent. Read our story here.
    • Business groups want action on the state unemployment trust fund during the special session, KOB-TV reported.
  • Dr. David Scrase, the state Human Services Department secretary, said he was disappointed that partisan politics have become an issue on things, like wearing masks, to mitigate the state’s public health response to COVID-19. KRQE-TV spoke to him.
  • A federal judge ordered the Trump administration to release tribal COVID-19 relief funds, HuffPost reported.
  • Legislators got a taste of socially distanced public comment, with offensive language including racial epithets in one House committee, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
  • The Las Cruces Sun-News wrote about New Mexico State University’s plan for a fall return to campus.
  • The Albuquerque City Council passed an update to the city’s emergency power ordinance to address price gouging, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
  • The state of New Mexico will focus on free testing first responders in Taos County on Thursday, the Taos News reported.
  • Jon Jones and Steve-O handed out care packages, KRQE-TV reported.
  • New Mexico United, the state’s USL Championship soccer team, is planning on playing games without fans in the seats, Albuquerque Business First reported.
  • The City of Alamogordo will hold a “reverse parade” for the Fourth of July