News Clips

Youth activists plan protest as oil and gas industry group presents award to Lujan Grisham

A group of activists is planning a protest for Saturday as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham receives an award from an oil and gas industry group. The northern New Mexico leaders of the Youth United for Climate Crisis Action are organizing the protest. Oil and Gas Associates of New Mexico is […]

NM medical cannabis revocation hearings blocked from the public

Last October, the Santa Fe Fire Department responded to an explosion at a well-known medical cannabis manufacturing facility. Besides being an early medical cannabis producer and manufacturer, the company, New Mexicann, experienced a similar explosion in 2015. Both instances reportedly resulted in employee injuries, but the latest explosion also resulted […]

Guv signs two health-related bills that advance equity, say advocates

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two health-related bills Wednesday that will advance equity, advocates have said. Lujan Grisham signed the Healthy Workplaces Act.  HB 20, whose lead sponsor was Rep. Christine Chandler, D-Albuquerque, mandates that all private sector employers must provide up to 64 hours of paid sick leave a […]

Leger Fernandez visits Cerro de la Olla amid push to designate it as a wilderness area

Some places are so special that they deserve the highest level of protection, said U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez, a Democrat who represents northern New Mexico. Cerro de la Olla is one of those places, she said. The dome-shaped caldera already has some protections as part of the Rio Grande […]

Half of New Mexico adults have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose

New Mexico has now given at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine to half of its population age 16 or older, according to the state’s Health Secretary. Dr. Tracie Collins, the secretary of the state Department of Health, said that in addition to the nearly 50 percent of people […]

Governor signs Environmental Database Act

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed legislation Wednesday that will make it easier for the public to access environmental data. HB 51, the Environmental Database Act, will lead to the creation of a map-based database hosted and managed by Natural Heritage New Mexico, which is a division of the Museum of […]

Guv signs New Mexico Civil Rights Act into law, ends qualified immunity

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, which ends qualified immunity as a legal defense, into law on Wednesday. Advocates have said the law will bring greater equity to New Mexico as it also enables individuals whose state constitutional rights have been violated to bring a […]

Officials say plugging orphaned wells protects public health and environment

At the end of their useful life, every oil and gas well must be plugged to prevent future contamination as the infrastructure ages and to return the site back to its original state. For the most part, this is done by the operator. However, sometimes bankruptcies lead to wells becoming […]

Tax bill that advocates say will bring greater equity signed into law

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill on Tuesday that child welfare advocates have said will be a game changer in New Mexico. HB 291 expands tax credits for families. Rep. Javier Martinez, D-Albuquerque, was the lead sponsor of the bill. The new law makes the tax code more equitable […]

New Mexico one of few states to pass pro-reproductive rights legislation this year

With more than 500 pieces of anti-abortion legislation under consideration in state legislatures around the country, New Mexico’s passage of SB 10, which decriminalized abortion, bucked the nationwide trend. Only one other state passed abortion rights legislation this year. Because the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to consider and rule […]

Guv signs bills that protect against discrimination for hair and hairstyles

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed two companion bills into law on Monday that will protect against discrimination for natural hair, hairstyles or cultural or religious headdress in schools and workplaces. The signings came amid a flurry of bill-signings, where the governor signed over 50 pieces of legislation on Monday, days […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs community solar, trapping ban, Gila Diversion bills

Mayane Barudin, a self-described solar nerd, would like solar energy. However, as a renter, she is unable to place the panels on the roof of the Albuquerque home that she rents. Barudin, who works as the interior west director and tribal liaison for Vote Solar, hopes a new law will […]

A nearly 300-megawatt wind farm is in the works in Quay and Curry counties

The developer of a nearly 300-megawatt wind farm is seeking location approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. The Grady Martin Wind Project would encompass more than 37,000 acres of land in Quay and Curry counties just north of the Village of Grady.  The PRC unanimously approved a schedule […]

Gary Johnson reacts to Legislature passing cannabis legalization bill

Pending a signature from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico is set to become the latest state to fully legalize cannabis. And while the state has received an abundance of national attention for the feat, some may have forgotten or overlooked the national attention a former governor garnered more than […]

PNM’s plans for the future include reduced baseload power and increased renewable energy

New Mexico’s largest electric utility is planning to reduce its baseload power while increasing power generated by renewable sources and possibly adding natural gas generation with turbines capable of producing power from hydrogen. Baseload generation provides a relatively steady supply of power. Currently, Public Service Company of New Mexico, or […]

Albuquerque Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force recommends ways to better address domestic violence

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller’s Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force recommended that the city develop a permanent line-item in the city budget to address domestic violence, sexual assault and intimate partner violence. According to the report, which the Domestic Violence Prevention Task Force provided to Keller this week, domestic violence programs […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (4/2/21 edition)

This morning recap of COVID-19 news from New Mexico is available in a free email every Friday. Sign up here. See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. As of Thursday, the state Department of Health reported 191,945 total cases of COVID-19 and 3,942 deaths related to the disease. As of Thursday, […]

New Mexico approves landmark recreational-use cannabis bill

New Mexico is slated to be the 18th state to legalize recreational-use cannabis and the fifth state to do so legislatively.  HB 2, sponsored by Rep. Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque, Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Albuquerque and three other legislators, sped through multiple committee hearings and Senate and House Floor debates in less […]

Democrats pick Stansbury as candidate for CD1 race

Albuquerque State Rep. Melanie Stansbury emerged from a two-day, two-round process to become the Democratic nominee for the 1st Congressional District special election in June. Stansbury narrowly defeated State Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, also from Albuquerque, in the second round, with 103 votes from the party’s central committee members in […]

Legislature sends expungement bill to governor’s desk

A bill to expunge cannabis-related criminal offenses that would no longer be illegal if cannabis is legalized is headed to the governor’s desk. The effort began with 11 amendments in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, which the committee later adopted as a committee substitute, and another on the Senate […]

NM to open vaccines to all residents age 16+ on Monday

Beginning on Monday, April 5, all New Mexicans over the age of 16 will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, entering the “phase 2” of the state’s vaccine distribution plan. This comes as New Mexico remains the leader on COVID-19 vaccine administration. As of Tuesday’s vaccination numbers, 44.2 percent […]

House cannabis legalization bill passes two committees, heads to the floor

A cannabis legalization bill passed two committees, one on Tuesday afternoon and the other during the early hours of Wednesday morning. It’s slated for a floor debate next  HB 2, sponsored by Rep. Javier Martínez, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, along with three other lawmakers, first passed the […]

Expungement bill passes Senate committee

A Senate committee passed a heavily amended piece of legislation to expunge the criminal records of those convicted of cannabis-related crimes that would no longer be crimes under the proposed cannabis legalization bill working its way through the special session. The bill would provide for automatic expungement of cannabis related […]

Gov. signs bill to eliminate fines for juvenile offenders

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday signed a bill into law that will eliminate certain fines and fees for juvenile offenders, “aligning with the juvenile justice reform efforts of the Children, Youth and Families Department,” the Governor’s Office said in a news release. Juveniles convicted of possession of marijuana will […]

NM Ethics Commission dismisses ethics complaint by DOH secretary against state senator

The New Mexico Ethics Commission effectively dismissed a complaint filed by a state cabinet secretary against a state senator.  In a letter to New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Tracie Collins, the commission’s executive director Jeremy Farris wrote that the commission would not consider Collins’ complaint against Democratic Sen. Jacob […]

More contentious debates over cannabis legalization expected during the special session

The New Mexico Legislature is slated to start a special session Tuesday to address economic development and full cannabis legalization. But there is still a question of how much support cannabis legalization will garner from both Republicans and Democrats.  About an hour after the regular 2021 legislative session ended, Gov. […]

New Mexico sues, argues interim nuclear storage facility could put environment, economy at risk

Concerns that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not properly vetted a proposal to locate a nuclear waste storage facility in Lea and Eddy counties led New Mexico to file a lawsuit on Monday in U.S. District Court. Holtec International, a New Jersey-based company, filed an application in 2017 for […]

2021 legislative session historic for LGBTQ causes

With six openly queer legislators participating in the 2021 New Mexico legislative session, many in the LGBTQ community said this past session was important in the advancement of equal rights. But also, legislation that would repeal the state’s ban on abortion, remove qualified immunity as a legal defense and enable […]

Environmental Database Act aims to increase transparency for publicly-available state data

A transparency bill that would make it easier for the public to access environmental data is awaiting the governor’s signature. HB 51, the Environmental Database Act, aims to make data that is already available through state agencies easily accessible at a single location. While the information that would be included […]

Republicans name Moores as CD1 nominee

Republicans picked State Sen. Mark Moores as the party’s candidate for the upcoming special election to fill the 1st Congressional District vacancy. Moores, a Republican from Albuquerque, announced his entry into the race in mid-March. Moores owns a laboratory that, over the last year, collected samples of COVID-19 testing. The […]

Criminal cannabis operations that took root in Navajo Nation could pop up in other Indigenous communities

Last year, Dineh Benally, the former president of San Juan River Farm Board in the Navajo Nation, oversaw the transformation of 400 acres of cropland into illegal marijuana farms across the Shiprock chapter in the northeast corner of the reservation. Despite a state, federal and tribal crackdown on the operation, […]

Special session for cannabis legalization to start March 30

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday that she will call the state Legislature back for a special session on Tuesday, March 30.  The special session will start just ten days after the end of the state’s regular, 60-day session. At the end of the regular session, Lujan […]

State and federal child tax credits improve equity for children of color in the state

Tax credits that recently passed the New Mexico Legislature and the U.S. Congress will improve child poverty and equity issues, according to child welfare advocates. The New Mexico Legislature passed HB 291, a bill that will raise revenue by about $5 million annually, said James Jimenez, executive director of New […]

Environmental advocates praise adoption of final methane waste rule

Mario Atencio, an activist from the Greater Chaco region of New Mexico, said the methane waste rule adopted by the Oil Conservation Commission on Thursday will set energy production in New Mexico on a path trending toward fairness. Atencio’s community in the Counselor Chapter of Navajo Nation is among the […]

Rural community stakeholders want lawmakers to address equity in cannabis legalization

New Mexico lawmakers are gearing up for a special legislative session, that will at least be mostly focused on legalizing adult-use cannabis. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced her intention to call a special session just after this year’s regular legislative session, but didn’t specify the exact date when it would […]

NM has no ‘red’ tier counties; most of state turquoise or green

New Mexico hit a new milestone during the COVID-19 pandemic: No counties are currently in the “red” tier of restrictions, the most restrictive conditions.  With Wednesday’s updates, which uses data from the previous two weeks to show which level of restrictions each county sits in, 13 counties are in the […]

Democrats eye Medicare negotiations to lower drug prices

Democrats, newly in control of Congress and the White House, are united behind an idea that Republican lawmakers and major drugmakers fiercely oppose: empowering the Department of Health and Human Services to negotiate the prices of brand-name drugs covered by Medicare. This story also ran on Fortune. It can be […]

Feds move forward with New Mexico drilling plan despite community outcry

For nine years, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has wrangled through an update to oil and gas permitting procedures for the San Juan Basin in northwestern New Mexico. The update was sparked by decades old changes in drilling technology already used in an area that gained notoriety for having one […]

So you’re vaccinated against COVID. Now what?

n March 22, 2021 As you surely know, this country’s covid vaccination effort has been plagued by major birth pangs: registration snafus, poor communication, faulty data and a scant supply of vaccine — all exacerbated by inequitable allocation, alleged political favoritism and unseemly jockeying for shots. Still, as of Friday, […]

The 2021 Legislature called ‘historic’ and ‘extraordinary’ by reproductive justice advocates

With the passage of legislation to repeal the state’s outdated abortion ban and the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, many in the reproductive justice community called the 2021 Legislative session “extraordinary.” All reproductive rights groups NM Political Report spoke with cited the passage of the Respect New Mexico Women and […]

Legislature shines light on itself

The Legislature concluded Saturday, which also happened to be the final day of Sunshine Week, so it’s only fitting that we review a couple of transparency measures taken up by the Legislature.  In short: it’s a mixed bag. One prominent measure five years in the making passed, and if the governor […]

A dramatic finish to New Mexico’s legislative session

New Mexico’s 2021 legislative session had ended only about an hour before the governor said she plans to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol in coming days. Talk of a special session to wrap up a cannabis bill — a high priority for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and many Democratic […]

After dustup, accusations of bullying, senators will undergo sensitivity training

After a floor confrontation in the final days of the legislative session that some lawmakers described as “abusive” and “demeaning,” Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart said Saturday members of the typically civil chamber will have to undergo sensitivity training from now on. “We’ve all seen what’s happened when we […]

What passed, what didn’t during the legislative session

What prevailed State budget: Near the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, state economists projected a nearly $1 billion budget shortfall in the fiscal year that starts July 1. Thanks to an infusion of federal pandemic relief money and much more optimistic revenue projections from oil and gas, the state government will […]

Governor, legislators speak about end of session

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and legislators spoke about legislative successes and what they expect to happen with bills that didn’t cross the finish line, including a pending special session to pass recreational cannabis.  Lujan Grisham said she was proud of how much work was done in a session marred by […]

Cannabis legalization runs out of time, governor will call for a special session

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham confirmed on Saturday that she plans to call a special legislative session aimed at fully legalizing cannabis and said it will begin “on or about” March 31.  In a post-legislative session press conference, Lujan Grisham said the work lawmakers did to try and come […]

Paid sick leave bill heads to Guv’s desk

The House voted 41 to 26 to agree with Senate changes to the paid sick leave bill on the final morning of the Legislature on Saturday.   HB 20, whose lead sponsor was Rep. Christine Chandler, a Democrat from Los Alamos, would mandate that all private employers provide up to 64 […]

State expands COVID-19 vaccine to nearly all residents

The state of New Mexico announced on Friday that it would expand who is eligible to receive a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to phases 1B and 1C, which includes virtually all New Mexicans ages 16 or older.  The new eligibility includes frontline essential workers, residents of congregate care facilities, […]

Paid sick leave passes Senate after lengthy, acrimonious debate including a filibuster

The state Senate passed the Healthy Workplaces bill 25 to 16 after a lengthy debate that stretched into the early hours of Friday during which Democrats sparred against each other on the chamber floor over the treatment of the bill’s sponsor, while Republicans railed against the bill and one even […]

In landmark vote, effort to increase early childhood education, K-12 funds passes Senate

State Rep. Moe Maestas sat quietly on a metal folding chair, his hands clasped together, as he watched the three-hour debate play out around him on the Senate floor. At stake was hundreds of millions of dollars for early childhood and public education programs.  As the call to vote came around […]

Ban on trapping on public lands narrowly heads to governor’s desk

A renewed effort to ban trapping on public land in New Mexico moved through the House of Representatives by a close vote of 35-34 and is now on its way to the governor’s desk for a signature. In addition to outlawing the use of traps, Senate Bill 32 would prohibit […]

House-backed cannabis legalization bill heads to Senate Floor

After a series of successful and attempted amendments and three hours of debate, a House-backed legalization effort passed its last Senate committee by a 5-4 vote and is now headed to the chamber’s floor.  The Senate Judiciary Committee debate started Wednesday night and ended early Thursday morning, though Chairman Joseph […]

Senate sends amended $7.4 billion budget proposal to House

A $7.4 billion budget that would increase state government spending by 4.8 percent in the upcoming fiscal year cleared the New Mexico Senate along a mostly party-line vote Wednesday after an hourslong debate riddled with political potshots and last-minute amendments. “Not everybody’s going to like what’s in the budget,” said […]

Lawmakers upset at Senate Judiciary bottleneck

In the sometimes Byzantine world of the New Mexico Legislature, there might be nothing that rankles a lawmaker more than when their bill lingers in a committee, waiting days or even weeks for a hearing. Many delays are caused by the sheer number of bills lawmakers consider in a legislative […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs liquor law change

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday signed into law what evolved into a sweeping change of state liquor laws.  HB 255, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, was originally intended to allow alcohol deliveries and add a new type of liquor dispensing license. But through a series […]

Limitations on medical cannabis reciprocity heads to House floor

While two efforts to legalize and regulate recreational-use cannabis are coming down to the wire, legislation aimed at limiting medical cannabis reciprocity appears to be on a fast track to the governor’s desk.  SB 340, sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, passed the House Judiciary Committee unanimously on […]

Special election to fill CD1 vacancy set for June 1

The special election to fill the now-vacant 1st Congressional District will take place on June 1. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced the date and said she would formally issue the special election proclamation on Thursday. The seat, which is centered in the Albuquerque area, is now vacant because […]

Civil rights bill passes Senate but must return to House (Updated)

The New Mexico Civil Rights bill passed the state Senate 26 to 15 but with only three-and-a-half days until the end of the legislative session, the bill must return to the House floor for concurrence because the Senate amended the bill. Update: On Wednesday afternoon, the House concurred with the […]

Bill to tap land grant permanent fund for early childhood education clears hurdle

Advocates behind a years-long effort to draw more money for early childhood programs from a multibillion-dollar state investment fund celebrated a major triumph Tuesday. Legislation is headed to the Senate floor for the first time following a 7-4 vote of approval by the Senate Finance Committee — known for stalling […]

Paid Sick Leave bill passes Senate Judiciary by slim margin

After a lengthy debate around some of the language and regulatory details of the Healthy Workplaces bill, the Senate Judiciary passed the paid sick leave proposal on a 5 to 4 vote. HB 20 would enable all private employees to accrue up to 64 hours of paid sick leave per […]

Senate Judiciary Chair awaiting changes to cannabis legalization bill

The chairman of a New Mexico Senate committee that is key to getting a House-backed cannabis legalization effort to the Senate floor said he is still waiting on expected changes before scheduling a hearing.  Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Joseph Cervantes said he was told by Senate leadership that HB 12, […]

Deb Haaland resigns as she takes over reins of Interior Department

Deb Haaland delivered her final speech in Congress on Tuesday. Haaland resigned from her congressional seat a day after her confirmation as Secretary of the Department of the Interior. “I thought I would have more time here, but we are called to service in different ways. Though I’m excited to […]

Aid-in-dying bill poised to become law in New Mexico

The New Mexico Senate passed a controversial bill Monday that would allow terminally ill patients who are of sound mind to take their own lives with the aid of a physician. The bill will soon head to the desk of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is expected to sign the […]

What’s next for the First Congressional District seat

With U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland’s confirmation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, her replacement in Congress will be chosen through a special election that will be held later this year. State law says the Secretary of State must declare a special election within ten days of a […]

Senate approves effort to clarify medical cannabis reciprocity

The New Mexico Senate approved on Monday a bill that would more narrowly define medical cannabis reciprocity by a 28-10 vote.  Sponsored by Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, SB 340 would specify that reciprocal cannabis patients in New Mexico cannot be a local resident and that reciprocal patients must […]

New Mexico not changing time change this year

Still feeling fatigued and cranky after this past weekend’s change to daylight saving time? Get used to it. A bill that would have led to the possibility of New Mexico staying on a single time year-round is dead. Members of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee voted 7-3 to […]

Haaland confirmed as Interior Secretary

The U.S. Senate voted to confirm Deb Haaland as Secretary of the Interior on a 51-40 vote Monday afternoon. With the vote, Haaland, an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, became the first Native American cabinet-level official in U.S. history and put her in charge of a sprawling department with […]

Senate committee advances paid sick leave bill

Private employers in New Mexico may no longer get to decide whether paid sick leave is a benefit they want to offer their workers. A bill that would ensure employees in the state have access to paid time off when they’re sick cleared the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee […]

Medical cannabis reciprocity bill heads to the Senate floor

A state Senate committee narrowly advanced a bill Sunday that would prevent New Mexico residents from becoming reciprocal cannabis patients by a 3-2 vote.  Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, the sponsor of SB 340, said the law change is necessary to ensure integrity of the state’s Medical Cannabis Program. […]

Legislative roundup on bills that advance equity

Three bills passed the state Senate Sunday night that will, if they become law, advance equity for the LGBTQ community and people of color. SB 213, called the panic defense bill, passed by a vote of 41 to 0 with no debate. Sponsored by state Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, the […]

Senate Judiciary Committee approves aid-in-dying bill

A controversial bill that would allow terminally ill patients who are of sound mind to ask a physician to prescribe drugs to help them die is moving to the Senate floor. The Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday voted 5-3 to support the Elizabeth Whitefield End-of-Life Options Act. The committee’s three […]

Working to get the word out from the New Mexico Senate

Chris Nordstrum was in third or fourth grade when he was called to the Governor’s Office for the first time.  He wasn’t in trouble. He had won a school poster contest through the Secretary of State’s Office and went to the Roundhouse to claim his award.  “I remember being in complete […]

House committee advances proposal to alter legislative session lengths

The New Mexico House Judiciary Committee advanced on Saturday a proposal to change a fundamental piece of how the state Legislature operates, although some committee members signaled that it will likely die before Saturday when the session ends.  House Joint Resolution 13, is a bipartisan proposal that aims to change […]

Environment protections bill passes New Mexico Senate

A bill that would allow the state of New Mexico to adopt air quality and hazardous waste rules more stringent than federal regulations survived a challenge Friday from Senate Republicans, who had previously stalled the measure with a procedural maneuver that kept it in limbo for days. Sponsored by Senate […]

New Mexico ethics commission likely to dismiss 2 of 3 complaints against Egolf

The New Mexico State Ethics Commission will “likely” dismiss two of three complaints filed by a retired judge against House Speaker Brian Egolf, according to a letter the commission sent to the complainant Friday. But the third charge — that Egolf failed to communicate a potential conflict of interest — is […]

Time grows thin for two redistricting bills for New Mexico

The legislative challenge to choose a process for redistricting still hasn’t been settled. Lawmakers have just one week to get the job done.  On Friday, members of the House Judiciary Committee voted to advance two bills that each would create an independent commission to redraw election district boundaries for congressional […]

Legislation to fund early childhood education from Land Grant Permanent Fund gets hearing

In some ways, it was a historic legislative moment. The Senate Finance Committee — renowned as being the morgue for repeated efforts to draw permanent fund money for early childhood education — held a hearing Thursday to discuss that proposal, known as House Joint Resolution 1. But the committee did […]

Senate passes clean fuel bill despite concerns about higher gas prices

A proposal to reduce New Mexico’s carbon footprint by going after greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector fueled a spirited debate Thursday in the state Senate. At issue is whether Senate Bill 11, which would create a statewide clean fuel standard, would lead to higher prices at the gas […]

Some look to improve independent redistricting proposal

With just over a week to go before this year’s legislative session ends, the prospect of lawmakers coming through with an independent redistricting plan is looking more likely. But some involved in the process still have concerns about Senate Bill 15, which the Senate unanimously approved Wednesday. The measure would […]

Senate passes bill protecting hair and hair styles in schools and workplace

A bill to protect people in school or the workplace from discrimination based on their hair or hairstyles passed 37 to 0 in the Senate Thursday. SB 80 would amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to prevent discrimination based on cultural or religious headdresses and protective hairstyles and would […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/12/21 edition): NM came close to rationing care

In case you didn’t see the past two days: The COVID-19 recap will be moving to a weekly format next week.  Thursday was the one-year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 in New Mexico and the anniversary of the first public health emergency. While the tone of a press […]

One year of COVID-19 in New Mexico

Shortly before noon on March 11, 2020, the New Mexico Department of Health announced a public health emergency for the growing spread of COVID-19. The same day, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a  pandemic. In New Mexico, the governor and health officials held an in-person press conference in […]

State gets improved revenue projections

The prospect of additional state funds brought welcome news for New Mexico’s college students Wednesday. Based on an improved revenue outlook, New Mexico will have an additional $373 million to spend, bringing the state budget to $7.436 billion, financial experts said during a Senate Finance Committee hearing.  The extra money […]

Civil Rights bill heads to Senate floor

A bill that would end qualified immunity as a defense for claims under the state’s Civil Rights Act passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday night with a tie-breaking vote from the chairman of the committee. Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, broke the tie on HB 4, the New Mexico Civil […]

Bill expanding New Mexico’s ‘red-flag’ gun law fizzles

A controversial bill to expand New Mexico’s so-called red-flag gun law appears to be a victim of more pressing priorities in this year’s 60-day legislative session. “For all intents and purposes, it’s gone, unless something really radical changes,” one of the sponsors, Rep. Daymon Ely, D-Corrales, said Wednesday. “But there are […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/11/21 edition)

See all of our COVID-19 coverage here. We began the COVID-19 recap at NM Political Report on March 11 of last year. Since then, we have published hundreds of editions of the recap, including seven days a week for several weeks, then for most weekdays following. In recent weeks, the […]

Liquor law overhaul heads to governor

After extensive changes through a series of amendments, the New Mexico Senate on Tuesday approved a bill aimed at allowing alcohol delivery and making other significant changes to the state’s liquor laws by a 29-11 vote.  Shortly after the Senate passed HB 255, the House voted to concur with the […]

Two cannabis legalization bills move forward

The two remaining cannabis legalization bills in the New Mexico Legislature each passed a Senate committee on Tuesday. Both bills now head to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is the last stop for one bill before its likely last floor debate.  The Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee passed HB […]

Independent redistricting commission bill clears Senate unanimously

Efforts to ensure New Mexico has an independent redistricting commission plan — once seen as an uphill climb at best — are now moving with momentum. The Senate voted 39-0 to approve a compromise bill that, if enacted into law, would play a major role in setting boundaries for Congress, the […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/10/21 edition)

This morning 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. We began the COVID-19 recap at NM Political Report on March 11 of last year. Since then, we have published hundreds of editions of […]

New Mexico’s coming megadrought highlights farmers’ control of water

High above south-central New Mexico, satellite imagery shows a brown sea in arid Socorro County, broken up only by the Rio Grande, which splits the county and the state down the middle. Here in the northern reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert, it rains maybe 10 inches annually and the sun shines […]

Bill to lower insurance premiums for some heads to Senate

A bill that backers have said would lower insurance premiums and provide subsidies to help individuals and small businesses with health care cost passed the House 43 to 25 Monday. HB 122, sponsored by House Rep. Debbie Armstrong, D-Albuquerque, will place a surtax on insurance companies if it passes. The […]

Senate Republicans stall environmental protections

A bill that would allow the state and certain local authorities to enact environmental protections more stringent than federal regulations stalled Monday when Republicans pulled a legislative maneuver that requires every member of the chamber to be physically present in the Roundhouse. “We’re gonna roll over this bill,” said Senate […]

Senate redistricting proposal heads to the Senate floor

After a slow, bumpy and contentious start, a bill that would create an independent redistricting commission is on its way to the Senate floor. Senate Bill 15, a compromise bill sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, and hammered out in the Senate Rules Committee less than a week ago, earned a […]

Bill to amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act passes House

A bill that would amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to include public agencies passed the House 52 to 14. HB 192, sponsored by Rep. Brittany Barreras, D-Albuquerque, had a quick debate during the Saturday House floor session. The bill would amend the state’s Human Rights Act to clarify […]

House bill calls for a commission to reduce hunger in New Mexico

The best thing about being a farmer, said Donne Gonzales of Chamisal, is rising every morning to hear the world wake up. The 26-year-old New Mexico native loves the morning songs of the birds and the rush of water in the acequias. To her, these sounds speak to the land’s power […]

Doctors urge lawmakers to pass Healthy Workplaces bill

During a press conference on Friday, two New Mexico doctors urged the state senate and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to support the Healthy Workplaces bill during a press conference on Friday. HB 20 passed the House 36 to 33 after a three-hour debate on Sunday. Republicans, all of whom voted […]

Bill to keep NM on daylight saving time clears Senate

New Mexicans might no longer have to change their clocks twice a year. An ongoing effort to keep New Mexico on daylight saving time year-round passed the Senate on a 22-18 vote Friday. But it’s far from a done deal. Not only does Senate Bill 102 still need approval from […]

Gas tax increase aims to help state’s subpar roads

New Mexico’s roadways are in terrible shape, and they’re costing the average driver $767 annually in additional vehicle operating costs, according to a new report. But motorists don’t need to read a narrative to understand the condition of New Mexico’s interstates, highways and roads. “All you have to do is […]

Bill to end new contracts on private prisons passes House committee

A bill to impose a moratorium on new contracts for private prison facilities passed the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee 3 to 2. Rep. Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces, and a co-sponsor of HB 352, described it as “a newer version” of HB 40, which stalled at the House Appropriations […]

Community solar bill heads to the House

A bill that would allow communities to subscribe to local solar facilities passed the Senate floor Thursday.  SB 84, sponsored by Democratic Senators Liz Stefanics of Cerrillos and Linda Lopez of Albuquerque, would direct the Public Regulation Commission to evaluate existing community solar programs and develop and adopt rules for […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/5/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported 259 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday according to raw data and 16 additional deaths related to the […]

Haaland nomination to head Interior heads to full Senate

The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted to advance U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland’s nomination to lead the Interior Department. The committee voted 11-9, with Republican Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voting along with Democrats, to send the nomination to the full Senate. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich of New Mexico […]

Liquor law overhaul headed to Senate floor

A sweeping liquor license reform bill is on its way to the Senate floor after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 5-4 to move it forward Wednesday. But the committee approved a number of amendments that changed some aspects of the bill.  Gone is a provision that would have given a […]

Legislation to curb governor’s power during emergency moves forward

Legislation that would let voters decide whether to curb the governor’s authority over emergency orders slipped past its second hurdle Wednesday when the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted to move it forward. Committee members, who were divided on House Joint Resolution 6, initially stalled it on […]

Health officials talk about vaccination efforts, as NM receives more doses

Health officials spoke on Wednesday during a press conference about the rollout of the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a new emphasis on certain areas of the state for new doses and even the decision by Texas’ governor to end that state’s mask mandate and capacity restrictions. This came ahead […]

Senate passes bill creating state division to upgrade broadband system

Schoolchildren are still sitting in cars to access Wi-Fi hotspots to take part in virtual lessons, a leading Democratic senator told his colleagues Wednesday. That’s one reason Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, urged the Senate to support Senate Bill 93, which would create a central […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/4/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state reported 359 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, including 37 at the Lea County Correctional Facility. The state also reported 13 additional […]

Another key Senator signals support for Haaland’s nomination to head Interior

In another sign that U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland will be confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Joe Biden’s Secretary of the Interior, a Republican announced she would vote in favor of confirmation. Maine’s Susan Collins told HuffPost that she would vote for the confirmation. “After examining Representative Deb Haaland’s qualifications, […]

Some liquor sellers leery of booze tax to fund license overhaul

As J.R. Palermo sees it, the year has been bad enough for restaurants, bars and patrons. He’s none too happy with a proposed 2 percent excise tax the state could impose on alcohol sales as part of a sweeping liquor law reform bill. Palermo, the owner of Tiny’s Restaurant & […]

New Mexico Senate passes bill to reduce cap on small-loan interest rates

Legislation aimed to rein in what critics call predatory lending passed the state Senate after a tense two-hour debate Monday that sparked accusations of untruths and assertions the bill’s sponsors are oblivious to the tough realities confronted by people who live paycheck to paycheck. Opponents contended Senate Bill 66, which […]

Workers and organizers rally for paid sick leave bill

Organizers held a virtual rally Tuesday evening in support of a bill that would enable workers statewide to earn paid sick leave to care for themselves or a loved one. HB 20 passed the House chamber by a vote of 36 to 33 on Sunday. The rally organizers, a group […]

New Mexico state employee accuses Governor’s Office staffer of ethics breach

A former Public Employees Retirement Association trustee has filed an ethics complaint against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s chief operating officer, claiming Teresa Casados pressured her into voting for a pension reform bill she opposed.  Claudia Armijo, an attorney, claims Casados last year prodded her to take part in voting to […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/3/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state of New Mexico reported 247 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, and 11 additional deaths related to the disease. The number of […]

Compromise redistricting bill advances unanimously from Senate committee

Lawmakers on the Senate Rules Committee came to a quick compromise Monday on a measure they hope will set the state’s sometimes controversial redistricting process on a smooth path via an independent, bipartisan panel of people to redraw voting district boundaries. A substitute bill introduced by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, an […]

Democrats say Otero County official threatened House speaker

Democrats in the House of Representatives voiced outrage over an email from an Otero County official they claim contains a threat against Speaker Brian Egolf. Democrats contend Otero County Assessor Steve Boyd, who also serves as president of New Mexico Counties, a group that advocates for counties’ needs statewide, wrote […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/2/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported just 166 new cases on Monday, with 13 additional deaths related to the disease. While it was with […]

Tempers flare in New Mexico Senate after lawmaker stalls bill

Tensions boiled over on the normally cordial Senate floor Monday after an Albuquerque Democrat used a legislative maneuver to stall a bill he opposes. Sen. Jacob Candelaria said his move prompted the typically mild-mannered majority leader Peter Wirth to drop an F-bomb. Wirth, a Santa Fe Democrat known for his […]

DOH reports 166 new cases, 13 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported the fewest newly reported number of COVID-19 cases in months, with 166 new cases on Monday. The department also reported 13 additional deaths related to the disease. The last time the state reported fewer than 166 cases was on Oct. 5, when the state […]

Bill to mandate paid sick leave passes House

After a three-hour debate in the House of Representatives late Sunday, the Healthy Workplaces bill passed 36 to 33 and will head to the Senate. HB 20 would allow all private employees working in the state to accrue up to eight days of paid sick leave per year. If passed, […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (3/1/21 edition)

This morning 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. This weekend, the state of New Mexico reported 275 new cases and 15 additional deaths on Saturday and 245 new cases and 16 additional […]

Senate committee signals House cannabis legalization effort as the likely preferred option

Even after a nearly four hour Senate committee meeting on Saturday, none of the four cannabis legalization bills the panel discussed advanced. But with encouragement from the Senate majority leader and the committee’s chair, the sponsors said they work to come up with a unified approach before another meeting next […]

Bill to overhaul hunting, wildlife management hits roadblock in committee

Legislation to reform hunting regulations and wildlife management in New Mexico stalled in the Senate Conservation Committee on Saturday. Senate Bill 312 appears doomed for this session after members tied 4-4 on a vote to reconsider debate and vote on the legislation in the absence of Sen. Joe Cervantes, a […]

House passes cannabis legalization effort, sends it to the Senate

A House proposal to legalize and regulate cannabis passed the chamber on a 39-31 vote, with six Democrats breaking rank to vote against the measure.  HB 12, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Javier Martínez of Albuquerque and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe, would fully legalize the sale and production of cannabis […]

New Mexico House speaker draws bipartisan ire over redistricting stance

New Mexico House Speaker Brian Egolf is facing sharp criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike over his opposition to having an independent commission oversee the state’s redistricting process. In particular, members of both parties were thrown by comments the Santa Fe Democrat made during a Zoom conference last week with […]

House Speaker Egolf files motion to dismiss ethics complaint

Attorneys for House Speaker Brian Egolf submitted a motion Friday to dismiss an ethics complaint filed by a retired judge who claimed the Santa Fe Democrat stands to benefit if the New Mexico Civil Rights Act becomes law. Egolf’s 24-page motion argues the complaint — filed earlier this month with the […]

Bill that would end qualified immunity heads to Senate Judiciary Committee

A bill that would end qualified immunity as a defense in civil rights cases advanced from the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee. HB 4, known as the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, passed without recommendation in a 5 to 3 vote along party lines. State Sen. Gerald Ortiz y […]

DOH reports 659 new COVID-19 cases, 14 additional deaths

The streak of days with 500 or fewer newly reported cases of COVID-19 was ended on Friday after nearly two weeks, when the state reported 659 new cases, along with 14 additional deaths. The new increase of cases came largely with 209 new cases in Bernalillo County and 191 at […]

Governor signs bill repealing abortion ban into law: ‘a woman has the right to make decisions about her own body’

Called historic, New Mexico decriminalized abortion on Friday when Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act into law, after years of efforts by abortion rights supporters. SB 10 repeals the 1969 statute that criminalized abortion by banning it with very few exceptions.  Lujan Grisham […]

Governor: NM ‘on the road to recovery’

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and top state health officials had optimistic news related to the state’s COVID-19 response and vaccine distribution, during a remote press conference on Thursday. The press conference came just a day after the state eased restrictions for counties in the yellow and green levels as well […]

House sends business relief bill to governor

A bill extending financial relief opportunities to those hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic is on its way to the governor’s desk for a signature. The House of Representatives on Thursday voted 51-17 to approve Senate Bill 3, which offers long-term, low-interest loans up to $150,000 to eligible New Mexico […]

Community solar bill heads to Senate floor

A bill that would enable communities to subscribe to solar electricity without needing to install solar panels on their homes passed the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee Thursday. The bill would direct the Public Regulation Commission (PRC) to develop and adopt rules to implement a community solar program in […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/26/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported 299 newly reported cases of COVID-19 and 13 additional deaths. The department also reported 245 people were hospitalized […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 2/25 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state health official will held a press conference on Thursday to discuss COVID-19 efforts including on vaccinations and newly announced eased restrictions. Watch the full press conference below, via the governor’s Facebook page.

Cannabis legalization bill heads to House floor

A House bill aimed at legalizing and regulating recreational-use cannabis passed its second committee Wednesday and will next be debated on the chamber’s floor.  HB 12, sponsored by Democratic Representatives Javier Martínez of Albuquerque and Andrea Romero of Santa Fe, passed the House Taxation and Revenue Committee along party lines […]

House passes $7.39 billion budget in bipartisan vote

The state House of Representatives approved what one lawmaker called a logical $7.39 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year in a bipartisan 60-10 vote Wednesday. “This is a very important piece of work that the New Mexico Legislature is involved with,” Rep. Patty Lundstrom, who chairs the House […]

Paid sick leave bill heads to House floor next

After another lengthy and contentious debate around, the Healthy Workplaces, HB 20, bill passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines. With a vote of 7 to 4, the Healthy Workplaces bill will now move to the House . All of the Republicans in the committee opposed the bill and […]

Fence around the Roundhouse will stay — for now

The fence around the state Capitol is staying put — for now. But some Republicans are not happy with the decision, announced Wednesday by Legislative Council Service Director Raúl Burciaga. Burciaga, who is in charge of operations at the building, said he met Tuesday night with state police officials, plus […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/25/21 edition)

This morning 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. While it was overshadowed by announcements below, the state Department of Health announced on Wednesday there were 448 more cases of COVID-19 and fourteen […]

Police reform bill clears Senate panel after changes

Some three weeks after its introduction, a bill encompassing sweeping police reforms cleared its first committee hearing — but only after the sponsor made considerable changes.  Members of the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee voted 4-3 Wednesday to move Senate Bill 227 to the Senate Judiciary Committee.  Among other measures, […]

Haaland likely headed for confirmation as Interior Secretary after hearing

The most significant news for U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland’s Interior Secretary nomination didn’t come during the second day of her confirmation hearing, but afterwards. That’s because U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat from West Virginia, announced he would vote in favor of her nomination. With an evenly split 50-50 […]

State updates ‘Red-to-Green’ framework, including adding a ‘Turquoise’ level

As part of the state’s ever-evolving COVID-19 restrictions, the state’s red-to-green, county-by-county reopening framework will add a “turquoise” level above green. In addition, the state provided more modifications that would include the return of further expanded indoor businesses, like concert venues, movie theaters, performance venues and bars. This all comes […]

Amended liquor license overhaul heads to Senate

The New Mexico House of Representatives on Tuesday managed to come to a bipartisan agreement in how to fix a decades-long problem with the state’s liquor laws and approve some liquor delivery.  The House approved HB 255, which would add a new class of liquor licenses, by 41-27. The bill, […]

Bill to revamp New Mexico wildlife management stalls in committee

Legislation that supporters say would modernize wildlife management in New Mexico but opponents counter would hurt outfitters who operate on public lands has stalled on a tie vote in a Senate committee. “My district is parts of six counties — it is all rural — and I, in this case, […]

Republican legislators want fences around Roundhouse taken down

In politics, good fences make unhappy neighbors. Republicans in the Legislature, contending “the threat has not materialized” against the Roundhouse in the seven weeks since protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol, asked the Legislative Council on Tuesday to remove the layers of protective barriers around the facility. The council, an interim […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/24/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported 314 new cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths related to the disease on Tuesday.  The state of […]

Haaland questioned by Senate committee in confirmation hearing

In U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland’s opening remarks during her confirmation hearing for Secretary of the Interior, she noted that she has a “unique” story. “Although today I serve as a member of Congress and was the vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, if confirmed, I would be the […]

State budget headed House floor after unanimous passage in House Appropriations and Finance Committee

New Mexicans should expect smoother roads and state government employees can look forward to a 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment in the upcoming fiscal year under a $7.39 billion spending plan the House Appropriations and Finance Committee unanimously approved Monday. The proposed budget, which represents a 4.6 percent increase over the current fiscal […]

Bill to increase penalties for human trafficking passes House

A bill to increase the penalties for human trafficking and expand protections to victims of the crime advanced out of the House of Representatives Monday with a nearly unanimous vote. HB 56 passed 63 to 3 and now heads to the Senate. Sponsored by Rep. Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque and of […]

Opportunity Scholarship bill advances from Senate committee

A bill that would provide tuition assistance for thousands of New Mexico students pursuing degrees at two-year colleges was brought back from the brink of death Monday and is now headed to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration. Senate Bill 135 appropriates $26 million from the general fund for the […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/23/21 edition)

This morning 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. On Monday, the state Department of Health reported 237 new cases of COVID-19 and 11 additional deaths related to the disease. Read more here. […]

DOH: 237 new COVID-19 cases, 11 additional deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 237 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, along with 11 additional deaths related to the disease. DOH has now found 183,023 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and reported 3,635 deaths related to the disease. Of the confirmed cases, 134,105 […]

With session clock ticking down, much work remains for New Mexico legislators

To some degree, the two contrasting actions that played out late Friday morning spoke volumes about this year’s 60-day legislative session. In the House of Representatives, members prepared to debate a contentious bill that would repeal a decades-old law making it a felony to perform an abortion. Around the same […]

Public ‘flying blind’ in New Mexico’s largely virtual legislative session

To hear House Speaker Brian Egolf tell it, public participation in this year’s largely virtual legislative session has been robust even if the doors of the state Capitol have been closed to everyday New Mexicans. In the second and third weeks of the 60-day session, more than 6,100 residents from […]

New Mexico Senate committee advances gas tax hike

The Senate Taxation, Business and Transportation Committee on Saturday endorsed a bill that would create new funding for New Mexico’s damaged highways and roads. Senate Bill 168 would increase the gasoline excise tax from 17 cents to 22 cents per gallon, and the extra contributions would raise over $63 million […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/22/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state of New Mexico reported 747 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 additional deaths related to the disease on Saturday and Sunday. Read […]

Black leaders call for public apology from GOP, claiming racism

Leaders of Black communities and organizations in New Mexico are asking for public apologies and stronger condemnation of recent remarks and actions by Republican lawmakers that dozens of African Americans say represent long-standing systemic racism in the Roundhouse. Earlier this month during a confirmation hearing, Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca, […]

DOH: 747 new COVID-19 cases, 25 additional deaths over the weekend

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 747 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend and 25 additional deaths related to the disease. DOH reported 320 new COVID-19 cases and 14 deaths on Sunday, following 427 new cases and eleven additional deaths on Saturday. DOH has now found 182,789 cases of […]

Lujan Grisham says she’d veto bill limiting executive power

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday she would veto legislation that would curb the power of the executive branch over extending public health orders. “In their current context, yes,” she said when asked whether she would veto such a bill. That’s not to say governors should be “omnipotent,” Lujan Grisham. […]

Paid Family and Medical Leave bill clears House Judiciary Committee

The Paid Family and Medical Leave bill passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines in an 8 to 2 vote Saturday. HB 38, sponsored by House Representatives Christine Chandler, D-Los Alamos and Patricia Roybal Caballero, D-Albuquerque, was amended by committee to clean up some of the language. The amendment […]

Historic abortion ban repeal one signature away from becoming law after it passes House

The bill that would repeal a state statute that criminalizes abortion care in New Mexico is now headed to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk after the House of Representatives passed it on a 40 to 30 vote. This is a priority bill for Lujan Grisham and she has indicated that […]

State streak of fewer than 500 newly reported COVID-19 cases continues

DOH reported 318 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths on Friday, following 411 new cases and 18 additional deaths on Thursday. DOH has now found 182,050 cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and reported 3,599 deaths related to the disease. Of the confirmed cases, 128,299 are designated […]

Speaker: House will debate abortion ban repeal Friday

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham could have the bill that decriminalizes abortion care on her desk as early as late Friday, House Speaker Brian Egolf said during a Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico event. Planned Parenthood Votes New Mexico, an arm of Planned Parenthood, held a remote event called “Toast of […]

Bills addressing water management and utility securitization pass committees

A bill that would require the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer (OSE) to consider climate change implications when making water rights decisions narrowly passed the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee Thursday.  HB 95, sponsored by Santa Fe Democratic Rep. Andrea Romero, would require the State Engineer […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/19/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state reported 411 new cases of COVID-19 and 18 additional deaths related to the disease on Thursday. The number of those who are […]

Redistricting reform bills await movement in session

Three bills lighting the way for the creation of a redistricting plan in New Mexico are waiting for their moment in the legislative spotlight.  But as the legislative clock moves closer to deadline — Thursday was the midway point of this year’s 60-day legislative session — supporters and sponsors of […]

NM’s short-term economic forecast improves over last projections

New Mexico’s financial outlook has improved yet again. While revenues are still expected to fall in the fiscal year that begins July 1, the drop won’t be as bad as predicted in December. General fund recurring revenue for the upcoming fiscal year is now estimated to decline by 8.5 percent, […]

A bill to end hospital discrimination against immigrants heads to House floor

A bill that would end hospital discrimination based on immigration status advanced Wednesday when it passed unanimously in the House State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee. HB 112 would enable all counties and hospitals in the state that offer indigent care to extend that program to all migrants, regardless […]

Retired judge files ethics complaint against House speaker

As retired Judge Sandra Price watched the state House of Representatives debate a bill that would allow people to sue government agencies over civil rights violations, one particular moment grabbed her attention. It was when Rep. Ryan Lane, R-Aztec, rose to ask the bill’s sponsors — House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, and […]

Bill would let schools extend K-5 school days

The way César Hernández sees it, House Bill 184 would let every school have a “genius hour.” That’s what the principal of Albuquerque’s Los Padillas Elementary School calls the extra hour of learning his school offers every day. That hour allows students to apply core curriculum lessons to creative projects like […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/18/21 edition)

This morning 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. While the state is among the best in the nation when it comes to administering the doses it receives from the federal government, the […]

New Mexico business groups take aim at legislative priorities

The New Mexico Chamber of Commerce and 21 other state business groups — including the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce — are asking the Legislature to refocus the 60-day session on promoting long-term economic recovery and competitiveness. The group made the request via an advertisement that ran in nine of […]

Supply still can’t meet COVID-19 vaccine demand, but cases continue to fall in NM

State health officials continued to express optimism over the trend of COVID-19 and vaccinations in the state, announcing that the state had administered over 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine as of Wednesday, including nearly 145,000 who have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. The vaccination rate […]

New Mexico Civil Rights Act passes House

The bill that would end qualified immunity as a defense for police officers who infringe on a victim’s civil rights passed the House of Representatives Tuesday. HB 4, the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, passed 39 to 29 after a three-hour debate on the House floor. The bill sponsor, Democrat […]

Bill seeks to move PERA board from elected to appointed

At the start of their meeting last week, members of the New Mexico Public Employees Retirement Association Board of Trustees spent 12 minutes talking over one other and arguing about the agenda and parliamentary procedures. “I really want to move forward,” an exasperated David J. Roybal said at one point […]

Economic recovery bill hits speed bump in Senate Finance Committee

The Senate Finance Committee voted Tuesday to “temporarily table” a major economic recovery bill to work on amendments and deal with other issues. “There is more than enough time to make sure that whatever version is endorsed by this [committee] at the very least addresses some of the serious issues […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/17/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported 308 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 12 additional deaths. In the press release announcing this, DOH […]

One cannabis legalization effort moves forward, another fails in committee

A New Mexico House of Representatives committee on Monday approved one proposal to legalize recreational-use cannabis and tabled another.  The House Health and Human Services Committee voted mostly along party lines to pass HB 12 on to its next committee. Rep. Phelps Anderson of Roswell voted, along with Republican committee […]

Bill on filling vacant congressional seat advances in narrow vote

A bipartisan bill that would create new procedures to fill a vacant congressional position in New Mexico — perhaps soon enough to apply to the seat now held by Democratic U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland — cleared its first committee Monday. The Senate Rules Committee, on a 6-5 vote, advanced Senate […]

Bill to provide ombud for parents of special education students passes committee

State Rep. Liz Thomson spoke from experience Monday as she discussed House Bill 222. Thomson, a Democratic state representative from Albuquerque, talked about the struggles her family faced in advocating for the special education plans and services her son needed as he attended public school in Albuquerque. Those travails, she told […]

Produced water bill dies in committee

A bill that would have made it illegal for oil and gas operators to spill produced water died in the Senate Judiciary Committee Monday. Produced water is the toxic flowback water generated in oil extraction.  SB 86, sponsored by Democratic Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez of Albuquerque and Liz Stefanics of […]

Bill to repeal old abortion ban headed to House floor

The bill to repeal the antiquated abortion ban is now one step from heading to the governor’s desk. SB 10, which was amended in the Senate, passed along party lines in an 8 to 4 vote Monday in the House Judiciary Committee. State Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, amended the […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/16/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported just 200 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the lowest number in months. The state also reported nine […]

Senate Minority Leader apologizes to Black Cabinet nominee for ‘insensitive’ questioning

Senate Minority Leader Greg Baca of Belen said Monday he had apologized to Veterans Services Secretary-designate Sonya Smith for what he called “that insensitive line of questioning.” Baca has been under fire for questions and comments with racial overtones he made during a Friday confirmation hearing for Smith. “Do you […]

200 new COVID-19 cases, fewest in months

The state Department of Health reported 200 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, the fewest in a single day in months. DOH also reported nine additional deaths related to the disease. The last time the state had fewer than 200 reported cases in a single day was Oct. 5.  The low […]

NM Supreme Court issues official opinion on validity of state emergency health orders

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday issued a written opinion that explained its reasoning behind a bench ruling regarding state emergency public health orders. The high court ruled last summer that the state and the governor are legally allowed to issue emergency health orders without a formal rulemaking process.  […]

“I don’t trust the people above me”: Riot squad cops open up about disastrous response to Capitol insurrection

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox.Series: The Insurrection The Effort to Overturn the Election The riot squad defending the embattled entrance to the west side of the U.S. Capitol was surrounded by violence. […]

NM reports 856 new COVId-19 cases, 27 deaths over the weekend, as hospitalizations plummet

Over the weekend, the state of New Mexico reported 856 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 additional deaths related to the disease. This was with 571 new cases and 14 additional deaths on Saturday and 285 new cases and 13 additional deaths on Sunday. As of Sunday, 292 individuals were […]

No decision by House committee, yet, on cannabis legalization

The push for cannabis legalization by some New Mexico lawmakers continues to be a steady, yet slow, effort.  The House Health and Human Services Committee on Saturday heard comments from members of the public as well as questions and concerns from three Republican representatives regarding cannabis legalization bills HB 12 […]

Fracking pause bill advances, ETA amendments bill fails

A bill that would pause new fracking permits in the state passed the Senate Conservation Committee on Saturday, while an attempt to amend the Energy Transition Act died in the committee.  Albuquerque Democrats Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero co-sponsored SB 149. The bill would enact a […]

A bill to amend the state’s Human Rights Act clears committee hearing Saturday

A bill that would amend the New Mexico Human Rights Act to make clear that public bodies and state agencies are subject to its provisions passed unanimously in committee hearing Saturday. HB 192 is sponsored by House Rep. Brittany Barreras, an independent from Albuquerque who caucuses with the Democrats. Called […]

Lujan Grisham talks COVID-19 financial aid during meeting with Biden

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham joined a handful of governors and mayors in a meeting to discuss COVID-19 relief with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris in the White House. Biden praised the mayors and governors and said “these are the folks that are on the ground dealing with […]

New Mexico state senator faces criticism over questioning of Black Cabinet nominee

The top-ranking Republican in the state Senate has come under fire for what some said was an undercurrent of racism during his questioning of a Black woman who heads the Department of Veterans Services. The encounter occurred Friday during a confirmation hearing for Secretary-designate Sonya Smith, when Minority Leader Greg […]

New Mexico House OKs tapping land grant fund for early childhood education

Tapping revenues for preschool programs from a massive state investment fund has been a Sisyphean task for advocates. Year after year, lawmakers and others who back the plan have pushed legislation through the House — like a boulder up a hill — only to see it stall in Senate committees led […]

State hits most COVID-19 gating criteria goals

In the last two days, the state of New Mexico reported 948 new cases of COVID-19 and 41 additional deaths related to the disease. This was with 541 new cases and 18 additional deaths on Thursday and 407 new cases and 23 additional deaths on Friday. As of Friday, 365 […]

In historic turn, state Senate passes abortion ban repeal

Two years after a group of conservative Democrats, along with  Republicans voted against  decriminalizing abortion care, the state Senate passed SB 10 Thursday, 25 to 17. SB 10, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is called the Respect New Mexico Women and Families Act and has a mirror bill, […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/12/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state Department of Health reported 541 new cases of COVID-19 (including 101 in Chaves County, the most in that county since December) on […]

Most of state moves to yellow, or green levels, as cases continue to fall

COVID-19 related restrictions will be eased in many parts of the state, as the number of cases continues to drop, with more than half of all counties improving out of the “red” level of restrictions. Additionally, the state announced that it would no longer require a self-quarantine for those who […]

Liquor license change, alcohol delivery proposal moves forward

A House bill aimed at allowing some alcohol deliveries as well as adding a new class of liquor licenses for restaurants on Wednesday passed its first committee 6-3.  HB 255, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas, D-Albuquerque, would, besides allowing certain alcohol deliveries, allow restaurants a chance to sell spirits […]

Senate sends pandemic relief bills to House

Three pandemic relief bills designed to provide New Mexico residents and business owners an economic lifeline cleared the state Senate with bipartisan support Wednesday. All three measures, the first substantial pieces of legislation to make it out of a chamber during this year’s 60-day legislative session, will head next to […]

Bill to end private detention facilities in the state passes House Judiciary but may face uphill battle

A lively debate in the House Judiciary Committee around a proposal for New Mexico to stop renewing contracts with private detention centers ended with one Democrat voting against the bill, along with all Republicans, but it passed 7 to 5. HB 40, the Private Detention Moratorium Act, would phase out […]

House committee OKs health insurance premium tax hike

The state House of Representatives is set to consider legislation that would create a fund to help offset the costs of health insurance premiums for lower-income people who purchase individual policies through New Mexico’s Obama-era insurance exchange. Proponents of House Bill 122 — which passed the House Taxation and Revenue […]

Bill to increase child support collections, avert loss of federal funds sails through committee

Legislation that would bring New Mexico’s child support laws into compliance with federal rules — and avert the loss of $147.5 million in funding — sailed through the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee on Wednesday. Senate Bill 140, sponsored by Sen. Gay Kernan, R-Hobbs, also is expected to increase […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/11/21 edition)

This morning 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. Note: Andy Lyman will be on KUNM-FM’s Let’s Talk New Mexico to discuss cannabis legalization at 8 a.m. on Thursday.  Most of the counties […]

WATCH: Governor’s Feb. 10 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held a press conference to discuss the state’s response to COVID-19, including the easing of restrictions in many parts of the state, on Wednesday. Watch the full video below, via the governor’s Facebook page. Update: See the recap of the press conference here.

House committee delays vote on bill to expand state’s ‘red flag’ law

Opponents of a gun control bill that would expand a controversial new law in New Mexico argue the measure would give police too much power — enough to seize their firearms even if they have committed no crime.  About 15 people testified Thursday against House Bill 193, which would amend […]

Once denied a necessary abortion, Indigenous Women Rising co-founder speaks out

One of the recurring arguments raised by opponents decriminalizing abortion in the state is that healthcare providers might leave out of fear they will be forced to perform an abortion. But that’s not the case, advocates say. HB 7 and SB 10 would remove three sections of the criminal code, […]

Bill to address produced water spills passes committee

The Senate Conservation Committee passed a bill that would make spilling produced water, the toxic flowback water generated in oil extraction, illegal.  Democratic Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez of Albuquerque and Liz Stefanics of Cerillos sponsored SB 86, which would allow state regulators to impose fines on operators for produced water […]

State police union leader accuses New Mexico lawmakers of attacking law enforcement

The president of the New Mexico State Police Association is accusing Democratic lawmakers of pursuing legislation that would give criminals more rights than police and take away tools he says officers need to safely do their jobs. “One of the things that needs to be said is the attack on […]

New Mexico Senate committee backs rent, mortgage relief for businesses

The state Senate’s Tax, Business and Transportation Committee unanimously endorsed a two-pronged proposal Tuesday designed to provide businesses with economic relief and also stimulate job growth, part of an ongoing effort to help New Mexicans struggling with the fallout of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Senate Bill 5, sponsored by Sen. […]

New Mexico broadband bill passes first committee

Despite investments of hundreds of millions of dollars, access to broadband services has remained out of reach for many New Mexicans in rural and impoverished areas. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated that problem, especially when it comes to public school students trying to learn remotely.  That’s the message […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/10/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state of New Mexico reported 413 new cases of COVID-19 and 19 additional deaths related to the disease on Tuesday. Also on Tuesday, […]

New Mexico House committee advances revamped civil rights bill

Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted 8-4 to support a revamped bill that would allow New Mexicans to sue government agencies they believe have violated their civil rights.  House Bill 4, creating a New Mexico Civil Rights Act, also would prohibit “qualified immunity” as a defense to legal claims […]

Bipartisan redistricting plan moves forward in New Mexico

A House committee on Monday unanimously approved a bill that would allow the state to prepare for the major task of redrawing legislative districts based on population data from the 2020 census.  Among other measures, House Bill 211, co-sponsored by Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the House of Representatives, creates […]

Paid Family and Medical Leave Act passes House committee

A bill that would create a state-administered fund to begin providing up to 12 weeks of paid family medical leave starting in 2024 passed the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee Monday. HB 38, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Act, received bipartisan support and passed with an amendment. State […]

Bill to give school boards authority to reopen stalls

A bill that would give local school boards in New Mexico the authority to decide when students could return to the classroom amid a state-issued public health emergency order stalled Monday in the Senate Education Committee after a 4-4 vote. But the proposed legislation, which garnered the support of one […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/9/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state reported another low number of COVID-19 cases: Just 315 new cases, the fewest in a single day since Oct. 11. The state […]

Green Amendment proposal passes first committee

A proposed amendment to the New Mexico Constitution to protect the state’s natural resources and environment passed the Senate Rules Committee Monday on a party-line vote.  Senate Joint Resolution 3, sponsored by Democratic state Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez of Albuquerque, Bill Soules of Las Cruces and Harold Pope Jr. of […]

New Mexico Dems respond to GOP lawsuit over House rules

As the New Mexico Legislature enters its third week, the back-and-forth wrangling over whether the House of Representatives is following constitutional rules in running a virtual session is still playing out.  Lawyers for House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, and the Legislative Council filed a response over the weekend asking the […]

Lawmakers to consider gun legislation

Gun legislation is a surefire way to rile people on both sides of the aisle. Get ready for a spirited debate, New Mexico, because the first two measures pertaining to firearms in this year’s 60-day legislative session will be considered Tuesday by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.  “Look, […]

Bill to keep Native children within their community receives bipartisan support

A bill to keep Native children within their tribe or pueblo when the state separates them from their parents passed the House State Government and Indian Affairs Committee unanimously on Monday. Sponsored by state Rep. Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque and of the Acoma Pueblo, HB 209 has overwhelming support from various […]

NM again hits a new months-long low on new cases on Monday

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 315 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, with 13 additional deaths.  This continued the weeks-long trend of fewer reported cases, even as testing capacity largely remains at relatively high levels. This was the fewest number of one-day cases since Oct. 11, when DOH […]

Decades of limited liquor licenses makes them high commodities

Since the early part of the 20th century, the number of liquor licences in New Mexico have largely been finite. As a result, those licenses are now worth roughly half a million dollars. In recent years, state lawmakers have tried various ways to reconfigure the state’s liquor laws that would […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/8/21 edition)

This morning 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. This weekend, the state reported 773 hospitalizations for COVID-19 and 21 deaths related to the disease. Read more details here. Sunday’s 349 cases were […]

DOH: 773 new cases of COVID-19 over weekend and 21 deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 773 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 additional deaths related to the disease this weekend. DOH reported 349 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after reporting 424 cases on Saturday. The department reported 13 additional deaths on Sunday and 8 additional deaths on […]

New Mexico bill would keep school funding steady despite enrollment drops

Enrollment has dropped in New Mexico’s public schools during the coronavirus pandemic, partly because many families have opted to home-school their children. So state legislators are moving to maintain funding at pre-pandemic levels, typically based on the previous year’s head count. The House Education Committee on Saturday unanimously passed House Bill […]

Overhauled civil rights bill would cap damages at $2 million in New Mexico

An overhauled civil rights bill that would prohibit “qualified immunity” as a defense to legal claims filed against government agencies would cap damages at $2 million, a change intended to assuage concerns about potentially crippling financial impacts on local governments. In another major change to a revised version of House […]

Lawmaker leaves Republican Party, becomes an independent

A Roswell Republican who voted in favor of repealing an antiquated anti-abortion law has left the GOP. State Rep. Phelps Anderson, who broke ranks with his party in the vote last week on a 1969 bill that criminalizes abortion, has changed his voter registration to a “declined to state,” House […]

New Mexico House committee tables some proposed liquor license changes

Members of a House committee on Friday tabled two bills that would change the way liquor licenses are distributed in New Mexico after several license holders spoke in opposition, arguing the measures would render their licenses, some worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, nearly worthless. One of the measures — […]

DOH: 1,154 new COVID-19 cases, 40 new deaths in last two days, as hospitalizations plummet

On Friday, the state Department of Health reported 589 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 deaths related to the disease. On Thursday, the state had reported 565 new COVID-19 cases and seventeen additional deaths.  The number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 reached 396 on Friday, 80 fewer than reported on […]

NM lawmakers faced with a number of proposals to legalize cannabis

New Mexicans who are following the push by many lawmakers to legalize recreational-use cannabis now have plenty of reading material.  Legislators have filed four legalization bills, two of which have identical language. All of the bills have the same general goal, but with different paths to get there and varying […]

A combined paid sick leave bill advances from House committee

A bill that would, if it becomes law, provide earned sick leave for employees in the state passed along party lines in the House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee on Thursday. The bill passed 5 to 3 with one Democrat absent during the vote. The committee substitute for HB […]

Bill to protect victims in pretrial process advances

Members of the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee on Thursday considered the sensitive issue of how best to protect some of the state’s most vulnerable people — including children and incapacitated adults — in the court’s pretrial process. House Bill 143, sponsored by three Democrats and one Republican, including […]

COVID-19 recovery efforts moving quickly through Legislature

They say the wheels of government turn slowly. New Mexico lawmakers seem intent on proving the old adage wrong. Several pieces of legislation designed to help New Mexico residents and business owners deal with the economic pain of the COVID-19 pandemic are expected to head to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/5/21 edition)

This morning 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. DOH reported 565 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 17 additional deaths. DOH also reported 445 individuals hospitalized for the disease, continuing a […]

Abortion ban repeal bill passes Senate Judiciary Committee

With a vote along party lines, SB 10 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday in what has been the shortest committee hearing on repealing the 1969 abortion ban so far. The bill now heads to the Senate floor. Six Democrats on the committee voted yes and the three Republicans voted […]

Bill to restore felon voting rights passes committee

A bill restoring voting rights for felons while they are still on probation or parole cleared its first legislative hurdle Wednesday. Members of the House Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 to support House Bill 74, which also will make it easier for felons to register to vote as they leave prison. […]

Kids Count book shows good and bad news for New Mexico children

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the child advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children had some good news about how the state’s children have fared. The data for New Mexico Voices for Children’s 2020 New Mexico Kids Count Data Book comes from information mostly before 2020, so the statistics indicate how […]

Lawmakers consider limits to governor’s emergency power

State lawmakers in both the House and Senate have groused for months about how Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham employed the power of the executive branch during the COVID-19 crisis, vowing to take up the issue during this year’s 60-day session. The debate has begun in earnest this week, as legislators […]

Bill to let college athletes earn money from their likeness clears committee

A piece of legislation designed to create a cash flow for New Mexico’s college student-athletes cleared its first significant hurdle Wednesday. Introduced by a bipartisan trio of two state senators and a high-profile member of the House, SB 94 cleared the Senate Education Committee with unanimous approval Wednesday morning. According […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/4/21 edition)

This morning 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. The state provided an update on COVID-19 vaccinations. Read more on the positive news here, including on the numbers from Tuesday and Wednesday. The […]

Health officials express optimism as vaccinations grow, cases shrink

“This feels like the beginning of a fourth-quarter comeback.” That’s what Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase said during a press conference on Wednesday, about New Mexico’s improving COVID-19 situation. Scrase also said that he is hopeful that more counties will move from red to yellow restrictions next Wednesday, […]

Lawmakers adjust to a largely virtual session

Two weeks into the 2021 legislative session, it looks like no one is home at the state Capitol. The hallways and hearing rooms — which normally would be bustling with activity by this time in a 60-day session — were empty Tuesday, aside from the rare sighting of a staff […]

No immediate impact from impact of moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land

The state of New Mexico is expected to take a major financial hit under executive orders issued by President Joe Biden to fight climate change, including a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. But the impact may not be felt right away. After a presentation Tuesday […]

Environment Department says they need more funds for inspections, more

New Mexico Environment Secretary James Kenney told state lawmakers his agency needs more staffing to inspect worker safety violations, ensure businesses are preventing the spread of the novel coronavirus and better protect the state’s air and water quality. Kenney implored members of the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday to approve […]

Bill to outlaw traps on public lands clears Senate committee

A bill that would outlaw the use of traps, snares and wildlife poison on public lands in New Mexico cleared its first legislative hearing Tuesday. The Senate Conservation Committee voted 7-2 to endorse the Wildlife Conservation and Public Safety Act, also called “Roxy’s Law” after an 8-year-old dog that was […]

A bill to hold peace officers accountable for sexual crimes passes first committee

A bill that advocates said would increase accountability of peace officers who commit sexual crimes against people in their custody passed its first hurdle Tuesday. The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed HB 156 along party lines with a 3 to 2 vote. House Rep. Brittany Barreras, an independent […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/3/21 edition)

This morning 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. DOH reported 434 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, along with 15 additional deaths related to the disease. The number of cases was the […]

Respect New Mexico Women: ‘We won’t be bullied’

A virtual reproductive-justice rally to underscore the importance of repealing the 1969 abortion ban in the state took place Monday. Because of the restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Respect New Mexico Women, a coalition of organizations dedicated to reproductive justice, held the rally virtually to ensure safety during the pandemic. […]

Competing recreational cannabis bills introduced

Two state senators on opposite sides of the political aisle introduced competing bills Monday to legalize recreational marijuana in New Mexico. A third proposal, also filed Monday, is expected to be formally introduced Tuesday in the House of Representatives, and other bills could be forthcoming. The push to legalize cannabis […]

New Mexico justices decline to temporarily block House pandemic rules

The state Supreme Court has temporarily denied a request by House Republicans to prohibit the enforcement of pandemic-related rules for this year’s legislative session. While the court continues to consider a final ruling, the current procedures for the 60-day session remain in place. After a contentious week that included a […]

Lawmaker introduces police reform bill

A Democratic state lawmaker introduced a bill Monday that calls for sweeping police reforms, in particular restricting officers’ use of physical force and requiring officers to intercede when they witness inappropriate use of force by a colleague. Senate Bill 227 came less than a day after a Bernalillo County sheriff’s […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/2/21 edition)

This morning 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. On Monday, the trend of lower COVID-19 cases continued, with 487 cases of the disease and 12 additional deaths related to the disease. Read […]

Cowboys for Trump leader to remain in custody until trial

An Otero County Commissioner who also leads a pro-Trump organization will remain in federal custody ahead of his trial for his role in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Couy Griffin, an outspoken and controversial supporter of Donald Trump, was arrested in January for entering a secure area on Jan. 6 when […]

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall

The state Department of Health reported 487 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, continuing the trend of low case counts on Mondays and the fewest cases reported in a single day since mid-October. DOH also reported 12 new deaths related to COVID-19, which continued the trend of a rapid drop […]

Lawmaker wants counties to be able to secede from NM

A southern New Mexico lawmaker has filed a proposal that would create a path for counties to secede from the state. 

Senate Joint Resolution 15, sponsored by Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell, would amend the New Mexico Constitution to allow counties to break away from New Mexico and either form a new state or join another existing state. 

GOP leaders in New Mexico House sue over rule changes

Republican leaders in the state House of Representatives filed a lawsuit Saturday with the New Mexico Supreme Court, charging rules changes adopted early in the 2021 session are unconstitutional. House Minority Leader Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, and Reps. Rod Montoya, R-Farmington, and Larry Scott, R-Hobbs, filed the lawsuit. It names House […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (2/1/21 edition)

This morning 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. This weekend, the state Department of Health reported 1,282 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths related to the disease. Read more here. […]

DOH reports 1,282 new COVID-19 cases, 35 deaths over the weekend

The state Department of Health reported 1,282 cases of COVID-19 and 35 additional deaths related to disease this weekend. DOH reported 530 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday after reporting 752 cases on Saturday. The department reported 18 additional deaths on Sunday and 17 additional deaths on Saturday. The number […]

New Mexico families in oil and gas ‘waste zone’ seek help

Cora Gonzales was in her room on Jan. 4 when she heard her father yell. In the evenings he watches TV while sitting by the living room window, and that’s where she found him, looking outside and not at the tube. The rest of the family quickly joined them and […]

Bill to decriminalize abortion heads to the House floor next

The swift-moving bill to decriminalize abortion care heads next to the House floor after passing the House Judiciary Committee 8 to 4 Friday. HB 7, sponsored by state Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, D-Mesilla, passed along party lines after a three-hour long committee meeting devoted solely to the bill. State representatives […]

Prison chief: New Mexico unready to close private facilities

New Mexico’s top prison official said the state could eventually end its practice of contracting with private, for-profit firms to operate four of its 11 detention facilities, but the change won’t come anytime soon. The comments Friday by Corrections Secretary Alisha Tafoya Lucero followed an executive order earlier this week […]

House leaders trade jabs after positive COVID tests

A day after revelations of several people with ties to the Roundhouse testing positive for the novel coronavirus, including a Republican lawmaker, House leaders in both parties traded accusations and verbal jabs, creating more strife in their already rocky relationship while also politicizing COVID-19. House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, […]