News Clips

Lawmakers protected themselves when redistricting, report finds

New Mexico lawmakers protected themselves and their colleagues when they redrew political district maps crafted by a 2021 nonpartisan advisory commission, shielding incumbents of both parties from competition and making legislative elections less competitive, according to a new 59-page report co-authored by University of New Mexico political science professor Gabriel Sanchez. The study, […]

Ivey-Soto steps down from Rules committee chairmanship

State Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto stepped down from his position as the chair of a powerful Senate committee amid a scandal involving alleged sexual harassment. The Albuquerque Democrat chaired the Senate Rules Committee, which holds hearings for confirmations and is the first stop for proposed constitutional amendments, but announced he would […]

As the last coal burned, San Juan Generating Station employees expressed a mixture of emotions

In the more than four decades he worked at the San Juan Generating Station, Allen Palmer saw units three and four come online. Then he watched unit three close in 2017 and now, as he prepares to retire, he is watching unit four close down. He sat in the control […]

Looking back at the San Juan Generating Station and those who fought against it

It was July 1, 1969. Representatives of Public Service Company of New Mexico and Tucson Gas and Electric signed an agreement to partner on the San Juan Generating Station. The first unit would be 330 megawatts and the two entities would evenly share the ownership and power generated. More than […]

Efforts are underway to craft legislation for regional water utility authorities

With only a few months left before the beginning of the legislative session, efforts are picking up to draft legislation.  Rep. Susan Herrera, D-Embudo, and Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, hosted a meeting on Tuesday to discuss legislation that would enable the creation of regional water utility authorities similar to […]

A petroleum PR blitz in New Mexico

In the past seven months, oil and gas companies have dramatically stepped up their outreach and public relations spending at some of New Mexico’s best-known, best-loved events. The industry also picked up an additional public relations bump from the not unexpected news that oil and gas revenues will add an additional $2.5 billion […]

Use it or lose it: NM Supreme Court rules unused water rights can be lost even if some of the water is used

New Mexicans who do not use all of their groundwater rights for a certain length of time can lose the rights to the unused portion, according to a new ruling out of the state Supreme Court. A well that once provided water to steam engines on a bustling railroad in […]

A solution for homelessness in Las Cruces finds little traction elsewhere

On a sweltering day at the end of July, Mike Amos crouched by his tent, fiddling with a few car batteries powered by solar panels that sat on the bottom rack of a shopping cart. Amos used them to charge his phone, e-cigarettes and an electric skillet while living at […]

Federal lawmakers from Colorado, New Mexico outline priorities for spending to address Colorado River water crisis

Democratic members of Congress from New Mexico and Colorado sent a letter to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation urging the agency to prioritize funding for long-term solutions to the Colorado River Basin water crisis. This comes as the Bureau has $4 billion in funding allocated by the Inflation Reduction Act […]

New Mexico AG Hector Balderas joins in amicus brief supporting lawsuit against Texas’ anti-abortion laws 

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined and a coalition of 21 attorneys general signed onto an amicus brief in support of Fund Texas Choice v. Paxton, a lawsuit waged to protect abortion access in other states from Texas anti-abortion laws. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas, a Democrat, joined […]

LANL-led consortium works to document orphaned wells

A consortium led by Los Alamos National Laboratory is using federal funding provided to find orphaned wells and help states prioritize plugging efforts. The Infsatructure Investment and Jobs Act included $30 million to establish the consortium, which is tasked with developing technologies and best practices that will be used to […]

ACLU-NM: Surveillance video indicates inmate was beaten at state corrections facility

The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico released a surveillance video that shows a group of incarcerated men beat another inmate while two guards look away at the Central New Mexico Corrections Facility in Los Lunas. The video appears to contradict the incident report filed by the guards regarding […]

State climatologist: Communities need to prepare for climate change

Local communities need to prepare for the impacts of climate change, New Mexico State Climatologist David DuBois said during the Four Corners Air Quality Group meeting Wednesday in Farmington. The air quality group consists of state agencies from Colorado, Utah and New Mexico as well as federal and tribal agencies […]

Judge lifts U.S. ban on Mexicans entering country to sell blood plasma

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. A federal district judge in Washington, D.C., has ordered immigration officials to allow Mexican citizens with visas to sell their blood plasma in the U.S. U.S. District […]

Lt. Governor contrasts governor’s record on reproductive rights with GOP opponent

Lt. Governor Howie Morales held a press conference in Albuquerque on Monday to highlight Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham’s record on abortion rights just weeks before early voting and absentee voting begin. Morales spoke, briefly, in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill neighborhood. He was joined by Marlene Simon, a Santa Fe woman who […]

Advocates say new mining claim near Mogollon threatens ecosystem and sacred sites

A new mining claim threatens the ecosystem and sacred sites around the town of Mogollon, about 75 miles northwest of Silver City, according to Indigenous and environmental advocates. In late August, Canadian-based mining company Summa Silver announced that it had staked a new claim at the Mogollon Project.  “Although the […]

Group accuses PNM, AVANGRID of misleading the public

An environment and consumer protection advocacy group said the Public Service Company of New Mexico and AVANGRID engaged in an ad campaign to mislead the public. New Energy Economy filed a motion to show cause with the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Friday. In a press release, the group […]

As EPA fails to fine oil and gas polluters, New Mexico officials demand answers

New Mexico officials are asking the federal government to explain why it decided not to impose fines on oil and gas producers it caught violating the Clean Air Act in the state. In May, Capital & Main reported that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that 24 companies had 111 leaks from wells […]

Scientific paper raises awareness about wildfire misinformation

As wildfires spread at sometimes an alarming rate through the western United States, so does the misinformation about fire science and wildfires. A group of fire scientists have penned an article published this month in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment highlighting the misinformation about wildfires. “Misinformation confuses […]

Ronchetti calls for constitutional amendment on abortion

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti wants a constitutional amendment to determine the legality of abortion. Ronchetti announced that he wants to “put it on a statewide ballot so everyone gets a say” in a new TV ad he released today. In the ad, Ronchetti sits next to his wife, Krysty.  […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham leads Ronchetti by 5 points

The second public poll in as many days showed a lead for incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham—but smaller than the poll released earlier in the week. The poll was conducted by Emerson College for The Hill, which is owned by the same company that owns KRQE-TV. The Emerson College poll found […]

Abortion fund calls for Lovelace to end relationship with a crisis pregnancy center org

Indigenous Women Rising, an abortion fund in New Mexico, wrote an open letter to Lovelace Health Systems in Albuquerque calling on it to publicly end any relationship it has with an organization that runs crisis pregnancy centers. Care Net is a Christian-based nonprofit organization that tries to discourage pregnant individuals […]

Revised recovery plan released for Gila trout

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its plan on Wednesday for recovering the Gila trout, which is found in high mountain streams in parts of New Mexico and Arizona. The plan prioritizes efforts like reintroducing the fish into historical habitats, removing or managing nonnative trout species and captive breeding […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham widens lead over Ronchetti

A new poll conducted by SurveyUSA for KOB-TV found that incumbent Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has a double-digit lead over her Republican opponent, Mark Ronchetti in her reelection campaign. The poll of likely voters found that Lujan Grisham has the support of 48 percent of likely voters, with 36 percent […]

Native American groups challenge changes to the PRC, say ballot wording caused confusion

A petition filed this week in the New Mexico Supreme Court challenges a constitutional amendment that made sweeping changes to the state Public Regulation Commission.  The amendment, approved by voters in 2020, reduced the number of commissioners on the Public Regulation Commission and transformed it from an elected body to […]

GOP Senator introduces a federal abortion ban that would limit abortion rights in New Mexico, nationwide

South Carolina U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican, introduced legislation on Tuesday intended to create a federal 15-week ban on abortion with few exceptions. Senate Democrats and reproductive advocates and experts denounced Graham’s efforts to ban abortion at the federal level at 15 weeks gestation. If the bill becomes law, […]

New U.S. Census data indicates improvements in child poverty and other child well being indicators

U.S. Census data released on Tuesday indicated national improvements in income, poverty and health insurance for families across the U.S. New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonprofit that advocates for legislative policies that benefit children, believe the new census data showing some initial improvements could positively impact New Mexico’s child […]

Beaver dam analogs bring ecosystem benefits in areas where habitat won’t support beavers

Beavers are increasingly viewed as an important part of the efforts to mitigate impacts of climate change, but in some parts of New Mexico the former beaver habitat has been destroyed. In those situations, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish will sometimes turn to man-made structures that mimic […]

Andy Lyman is leaving NM Political Report

After nearly eight years of political and investigative reporting and serving as part of the inaugural team, reporter Andy Lyman is leaving NM Political Report.  Lyman first joined NM Political Report as a freelancer in December 2014, and went on to become a full-time staffer the following year. There are […]

NM sees highest month in cannabis sales, collective $10 million in tax revenue

New Mexico has collected, or is due to collect, nearly $10 million dollars from cannabis taxes, according to the state’s Regulation and Licensing and Taxation and Revenue departments.  According to the latest announcement from the Regulation and Licensing Department, July marked the highest sales so far with more than $40 […]

LIDAR data used to prioritize projects in Hermits Peak burn scar

As the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire smoldered and monsoon season rolled in, response turned from fighting the flames to trying to protect lives and property from flooding and runoff around the burn scar. Because of the size of the fire and the risks to people—post-burn flooding killed four people—methods like […]

New online portal shows climate change impacts

A new website launched this week is intended to help people visualize how climate change is impacting their communities and to help communities plan for and respond to climate change. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ administration announced the new Climate Mapping for Resilience and Adaptation portal on […]

AG candidate Jeremy Gay’s residency qualifications challenged in court filing

With about two months left before New Mexico’s general election, a candidate for state attorney general is facing a legal challenge to his candidacy qualifications. On Wednesday, a Bernalillo County resident filed a request asking a Santa Fe state district court judge to order attorney general candidate Jeremy Gay off […]

Meet Mary Wakefield, the nurse administrator tasked with revamping the CDC

It’s been a rough couple of years for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Facing a barrage of criticism for repeatedly mishandling its response to the covid-19 pandemic and more recently monkeypox, the agency has acknowledged it failed and needs to change. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has tapped […]

New reproductive rights group forms in Otero County

The fall of Roe v. Wade in June led three women to form a reproductive rights group in Otero County. Natalie Wilkins, Shari Adkisson and Marylouise Kuti forged New Voices Otero in response to the leak of the U.S. Supreme Court draft document of its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcare […]

Couy Griffin removed from Otero County Commission, barred from holding any future office

A Santa Fe state district court judge ordered on Tuesday that Couy Griffin be removed from office and disqualified from holding any other public office in the future because of his role in the January 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. In his ruling, First Judicial District Court Judge […]

NMED works on rules to limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants

With less than a month left before the scheduled closure of the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, the New Mexico Environment Department is working on a rule that would ensure any future coal-fired generation emits less than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. The new emission requirements will […]

Amid New Mexico’s history of legacy pollution, Holtec tells lawmakers that nuclear storage proposal is safe and secure

Officials with the company that wishes to temporarily store spent nuclear fuel in New Mexico are working to assure lawmakers that it would be both safe and secure.  Holtec International Project Director Ed Mayer presented the plans for the nuclear fuel storage to the Science, Technology and Telecommunications Committee on […]

NM Supreme Court issues written opinion in stream access case

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Thursday issued a written opinion regarding public access to river and stream beds that explained the court’s reasoning for a decision from the bench earlier this year.  In March, the supreme court issued a ruling from the bench, after a brief deliberation, that river […]

Guv pledges $10 million for clinic in Doña Ana County

On Wednesday, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced she will designate$10 million in executive capital outlay funding next year to develop a new clinic in Doña Ana County. Lujan Grisham is directing the New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration to designate the $10 million in the upcoming 2023 legislative session […]

PRC hopes to finalize transportation electrification rule by end of year

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking on Wednesday in hopes of finalizing the agency’s transportation electrification rule by the end of the year. This rule is intended to work hand in hand with the investor-owned utilities’ transportation electrification plans that […]

New study shows small number of defendants charged with second crime while awaiting trial

A new study looking at the impact of pretrial detention in New Mexico reinforces a previous legislative committee’s study and found that only a small percentage of defendants are charged with a second crime while awaiting trial.  The study, conducted by researchers from the Santa Fe Institute and the University […]

Immigrant advocacy organizations seeking answers around Brazilian man’s death by suicide while in ICE custody

Migrant advocacy organizations are raising questions about a Brazilian man’s apparent death by suicide while in U.S. Immigrant and Customs Enforcement custody. Kesley Vial, a young Brazilian man who sought asylum in the U.S., died on August 24 due to a fatal suicide attempt while housed in the Torrance County […]

Proposal would use $566K in settlement funds for ABCWUA wastewater outfall project

Settlement funding to remediate groundwater at two Superfund sites in Albuquerque could be used to partially fund the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority’s Southside Wastewater Reclamation Plant Outfall Restoration project. The Office of Natural Resources Trustee is seeking public comments on a proposal to use $566,000 of money remaining […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham leads Ronchetti by 7 points, Dems lead other statewide races

A new poll conducted by Research & Polling for the Albuquerque Journal found that incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham leads her closest opponent by 7 points in the upcoming general election. The same poll found that Democrats have larger leads in the other statewide races this fall. The poll found that […]

The age of consequence: Wildfires in New Mexico

At 4:15 p.m. on April 6, a team of wildland firefighters stood on alert near a rocky ridge just northwest of Las Vegas. The spot in the valley was breathtaking, full of ponderosa pine and jagged stone outcroppings. Hermit’s Peak — a dramatic craggy mountain crest — loomed overhead.  The […]

Officials tout federal funding and incentives to clean up orphaned wells, spur clean energy development

While standing at the future site of the San Juan Solar project, with the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station and an old pump jack in the background, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk said the country’s energy transition could be visualized.  Turk and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland […]

Santa Fe Public Schools highlighted as part of federal announcement of a ‘Back-to-School’ checklist

The U.S. Department of Education highlighted Santa Fe Public Schools on Thursday during a press call to announce the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan “Back-to-School” checklist. The federal law provided $130 billion to school districts and state governments to, among other things, support students’ mental health needs. Santa Fe Public […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham maintains small lead over Ronchetti

A new poll commissioned by an environmental group showed that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has a small lead in her reelection campaign against Republican Mark Ronchetti. The poll, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for EDF Action, found that the Democratic incumbent had the support of 48 percent of likely voters […]

NM Supreme Court upholds dismissal of case involving COVID-19 conditions in prisons

The New Mexico Supreme Court today on Thursday issued a written opinion that upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a lawsuit aimed at the state’s correctional department over the release of inmates during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the opinion, New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Michael Vigil wrote […]

Lujan Grisham tests positive for COVID-19

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham tested positive for COVID-19, her office announced on Thursday morning. She said she only has mild symptoms. Lujan Grisham will isolate at the governor’s residence and will continue to work remotely, according to the announcement. This is the first time the governor has tested positive for […]

Abortion fund expanding services to Las Cruces 

The New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an abortion fund provider, is expanding its services to Las Cruces. Since the fall of Roe v. Wade in June, more than one reproductive healthcare organization has said it will open a new clinic in Las Cruces to help with what many […]

Monsoon storms bring flooding, surges in rivers

As Joe Kenmore, the Lincoln County emergency services director, saw the rain coming down around the McBride Fire burn scar last weekend, he knew what he had to do: keep people safe and protect property. Lincoln County is no stranger to the impacts of monsoon rains on burn scars. About […]

New dinosaur species adds to knowledge of New Mexico’s diverse past

When the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science first received a dinosaur skull that had been removed from the Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area south of Farmington, the paleontologists believed it was a pentaceratops.  Museum curator of paleontology Spencer Lucas explained that the pentaceratops is the common ceratopsian species found […]

Back to school in New Mexico’s fire zone

TIERRA MONTE — Ever since the start of the monsoon season, a torrent of boulders and debris has tumbled down the mountainside toward the Encinias family home, only months after the land was laid bare by fire. On April 22, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon blaze consumed almost everything around them, […]

Cannabis patients, business owners hope for commitment to update cannabis law from gubernatorial candidates

Not long after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that abortions are not a right covered by the U.S. Constitution, award-winning actress Bette Midler posted to Twitter a doctored picture of a New Mexico welcome sign. Added to the sign were the words, “We’ve got chile, weed and reproductive rights,” referring […]

What is happening with the state’s 30×30 initiative?

New Mexico’s 30×30 committee is working on defining terms and collecting information from the public with only four months left before the annual report is due to the governor. The state’s initiative is running parallel to a federal initiative known as America the Beautiful. Both have the goal of conserving […]

Off Guard: A crisis looms at New Mexico’s largest jail, plagued by understaffing — and unsafe conditions

It’s quiet outside the Metropolitan Detention Center, a hulking facility of brick, cinderblock and glass nearly 20 miles west of Albuquerque. On a recent day, cattle graze near the jail’s parking lot and though the Sandia Speedway is just up the road, the tracks are silent. Even the air is […]

Senator Luján, HHS Secretary Becerra talk mental health in Las Cruces 

Democratic U.S. Senator Ben Ray Luján and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra listened to youth behavioral health professionals at a roundtable discussion held on Wednesday at Arrowhead Early College High School in Las Cruces. Luján and Becerra both made general remarks but mostly listened to […]

New projections estimate $22.7 million in cannabis tax revenue

After almost five full months of recreational-use cannabis sales in New Mexico, experts say the initial revenue projections were slightly higher than what is now expected.  During a Legislative Finance Committee meeting on Wednesday regarding revenue projections, New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke told lawmakers that the […]

Nicaraguan asylum seeker files complaint to DHS regarding ‘inhumane’ treatment

The New Mexico Immigration Law Center filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on behalf of a Nicaraguan asylum seeker, Edgar Garrido Diaz, alleging violation of his due process rights, medical neglect and abuse while housed at Cibola County Correctional Center. According to the complaint, U.S. Immigration […]

PNM ordered to show that it is following through with rate credits

After telling the Public Service Company of New Mexico to issue rate credits so that customers are not paying for a coal plant that is being retired, state regulators are now requesting proof that the utility has done so. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an order asking […]

Department of the Interior announces actions to address Colorado River water supplies

New Mexico will not face mandatory cuts in Colorado River water usage at this time as the U.S. Department of the Interior implements actions to address falling levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  Actions the department announced on Tuesday include mandatory cuts in water use in the Lower Basin […]

ABQ city council reaffirms $250K for Planned Parenthood, includes funds for housing nonprofits

Albuquerque City Councilor Tammy Fiebelkorn helped thwart an effort to reroute city funds already allocated to Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains for the current year’s budget on Monday evening during a city council meeting. Earlier this summer, Albuquerque City Councilor Renee Grout introduced R-22-46, a resolution that would reallocate […]

Inflation Reduction Act heads to president’s desk

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that  Democrats say includes the biggest investment in combating climate change ever on a 220-207 vote.Republicans argued that it would increase taxes and fuel inflation. The Inflation Reduction Act includes rebates for purchasing electric vehicles and electric appliances as well as tax […]

Controversial Augustin Plains Ranch water project legal battles continue

The legal battles in a controversial water project are continuing as the state’s Court of Appeals remanded it back to district court. Augustin Plains Ranch LLC sued the state engineer after the office rejected a proposal to pump 54,000 acre feet of water annually from an aquifer in southwestern New […]

New Mexico’s pandemic oil and gas plan aided a Putin pal and Trump donor

Back in 2020, as oil and gas prices tanked because of the COVID crisis, New Mexico implemented an emergency program that would allow oil and gas producers to temporarily stop production and shut down wells for up to three years without penalty. The state’s Oil Conservation Division (OCD) created the program […]

Advocacy group: Federal agency violated Endangered Species Act

The Center for Biological Diversity says that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has violated the Endangered Species Act when it comes to protecting the lesser prairie chicken. The service published a proposed rule in June 2021 to list two distinct population segments of the lesser prairie chicken.  The Center […]

NM Environment Review: Three ways the Inflation Reduction Act could benefit fossil fuels

NM Environment Review is a weekly newsletter that is sent out every Thursday. Sign up here to have it delivered to your inbox. Hello everyone, A lot of news following the Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has focused on provisions to help address climate change, like making it […]

ACLU-NM questions whether U.S. Customs and Border Protection did enough in death of migrant boy

Events reported by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection surrounding the death of a migrant child last month are questionable, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico said. CBP released a statement last week to report the death of the child on July 23. Based on the information provided […]

NM regulators deny request to delay implementation of community solar program pending court appeal

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission denied Southwestern Public Service Company’s request to delay implementing the community solar program while the state Supreme Court weighs an appeal. SPS appealed the PRC’s final ruling in the community solar case in July, which some community solar proponents see as an attempt to […]

A uranium ghost town in the making

The “death map” tells the story of decades of sickness in the small northwest New Mexico communities of Murray Acres and Broadview Acres. Turquoise arrows point to homes where residents had thyroid disease, dark blue arrows mark cases of breast cancer, and yellow arrows mean cancer claimed a life.

Neighbors built the map a decade ago after watching relatives and friends fall ill and die. Dominating the top right corner of the map, less than half a mile from the cluster of colorful arrows, sits what residents believe is the cause of their sickness: 22.2 million tons of uranium waste left over from milling ore to supply power plants and nuclear bombs.

New Mexico’s ranking in child well being worsened according to KIDS COUNT Data Book

New Mexico ranks 50th in the nation for child well-being for 2022, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual KIDS COUNT Data Book. The KIDS COUNT Data Book of 2021 ranked New Mexico 49th in the nation for child wellbeing.  But despite the drop in ranking, Amber Wallin, executive […]

Inflation Reduction Act does not extend federal Child Tax Credit

The Inflation Reduction Act, a bill that narrowly passed the U.S. Senate over the weekend, does not extend the federal Child Tax Credit. The federal Child Tax Credit, which became available to qualifying families through the American Rescue Plan Act, provided up to $3,000 per child per year for families […]

Monsoon flows temporarily prop up New Mexico waters

Monsoon flows have prevented some of the water shortages officials were planning for this year, but they won’t be enough to curb the declining reservoirs in the Colorado River basin or significantly reduce New Mexico’s water debt to Texas in the Rio Grande basin. Rolf Schmidt-Petersen, the director of the […]

Climate provisions part of Senate-passed Inflation Reduction Act

The U.S. Senate passed a $430 billion package aimed at addressing rising inflation rates, making prescription drugs more affordable and combating climate change on Sunday on a party-line vote, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. Democrats voted for the bill, while Republicans voted in opposition. U.S. Sen. Ben […]

Guv and AG file motion to dismiss lawsuit challenging New Mexico’s legal abortion status

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas filed a motion on Thursday to dismiss a lawsuit challenging New Mexico’s legal abortion status. Filed in the Fifth Judicial District Court in Chaves County in late June by state Sen. David Gallegos, R-Eunice, Roswell-based write-in Independent candidate for […]

San Juan River water administration under a microscope as drought plagues Colorado River basin

As the federal government directs more and more scrutiny on the Colorado River and its tributaries, the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer is developing systems to better account for how much water is diverted from the San Juan River and how much is returned in hopes of demonstrating […]

An anti-abortion resolution passed in Alamogordo despite opposition

The city of Alamogordo passed a resolution on Tuesday designating the town of 31,000 as a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” despite more public opposition to the resolution than support for it. Of the public comments, 105 members of the public were opposed while 82 spoke in favor. Last month […]

New report urges protection of cultural heritage sites like Chaco, Mesa Verde from oil and gas

A new report released this week by Archaeology Southwest and The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks calls for increased protection of cultural resources like Chaco Culture National Historical Park from oil and gas development. “To honor and protect our diverse and shared heritage, America’s national parks and monuments must […]

Cannabis class action suit over insurance moves to federal court

A class action lawsuit challenging health insurance companies’ refusal to cover the costs of medical cannabis has been moved to federal court, for now.  The lawsuit, filed earlier this year by a group of medical cannabis patients and one cannabis production company, originally asked a state district court judge to […]

Farmington electric has not finalized plans for replacing its 47 megawatts from San Juan Generating Station

With the clock ticking down to the San Juan Generating Station closing, the one owner trying to keep it open has not finalized plans for replacing the electricity it receives from the plant. Farmington Electric Utility System receives 47 megawatts of power from the San Juan Generating Station, which is […]

Growing Forward: Let’s Do It Live! (In Las Cruces)

Southern New Mexico arguably has unique issues compared to the central and northern parts of the state. That rings especially true when it comes to the state’s cannabis industry which launched earlier this year after the passage of the Cannabis Regulation Act.  Growing Forward, the collaborative podcast between New Mexico […]

Every door is the right door

By 2013, Steve Harbin’s alcohol problem was plain to nearly everyone. Once a prosperous salesman in the construction industry, he’d lost his job and health insurance. Gone were the dream house he’d designed in Albuquerque’s foothills and many of the motorcycles he’d owned. The last one, a Kawasaki W650 with […]

A missing ingredient

New Mexico is a violent state. It ranks among the worst for women murdered by men, child abuse and neglect are almost twice as common as they are nationwide, and its rate of suicide is one of the highest of any state. Last year, Albuquerque’s homicide rate shattered previous records, […]

Poisonous myths

The forecasted low in Gallup is 17 degrees, cold even for February, but the man’s jacket is unzipped when the headlights find him slumped against a darkened storefront, a Broncos cap pulled over his eyes. “I’m going to get you some place warm,” Public Safety Officer Gabriel Lee Jr. says […]

Wildfire, drought resiliency efforts pass U.S. House of Representatives

A package of about 50 bills to address wildfires, drought and climate change passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday on a 218-199 vote and now heads to the U.S. Senate.  Among the provisions in the Wildfire Response and Drought Resiliency Act include increasing pay for wildland firefighters, assisting […]

An emergency in plain sight

Alcohol kills New Mexicans at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country — and no one can fully explain why. New Mexicans die of alcohol-related causes at nearly three times the national average, higher by far than any other state. Alcohol is involved in more deaths than fentanyl, heroin, […]

Eyes on the road

“I want to see bad driving.”  New Mexico State Police Lieutenant Kurtis Ward scanned traffic, weaving his Ford Expedition through northbound traffic on Interstate 25. It was 8:37pm on a wintry Friday night. A full moon was cresting the Sandias.  The workday of the DWI Unit had just begun.  “I […]

LANL team looks at how wildfire soot absorbs sunlight, contributes to climate change

As wildfires char land in the western United States, they are not only destroying property and threatening water supplies. They’re also producing black carbon, or soot, which contributes to climate change. Scientists have known for a while that black carbon, or soot, from wildfires absorbs sunlight and heats the atmosphere. […]

As drought continues, river flows dwindle in Albuquerque area

As Rio Grande water dwindles to a mere trickle in the Albuquerque area for the first time since the early 1980s, irrigators are facing the possibility that only the Pueblos will be able to draw water from the river. A 1928 agreement means that Pueblo water rights are considered “prior […]

How anti-abortion activists plan to turn New Mexico into an anti-abortion state

After the repeal of Roe v. Wade, anti-abortion activists are looking to turn public sentiment against abortion access in New Mexico,  a state where abortion is legal, abortion rights policy experts have said. Nadia Cabrera-Mazzeo, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, said that organizations involved […]

What can Biden’s executive order to protect reproductive access actually accomplish

President Joe Biden’s executive order to protect reproductive rights and care announced earlier this month can only do so much without Congressional budgetary support. The order directs federal agencies, particularly the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] to safeguard access to abortion care and contraception, protect the privacy […]

Community solar appeal: An expensive delay tactic or customer protection?

One of the three investor-owned utilities in New Mexico appealed the state’s community solar rule to the state Supreme Court and asked the court to delay implementation until after it rules on the appeal. Southwestern Public Service Company, a subsidiary of Xcel Energy, says the current rules adopted on March […]

State regulators deny PNM’s request to delay issuing rate credits

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission denied Public Service Company of New Mexico’s request to delay issuing rate credits while the state Supreme Court considers an appeal of the regulators’ order to issue them. Should the court rule in PNM’s favor, the utility will not be required to issue those […]

U.S. House passes bill to protect contraception access

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill on Thursday by a 228 to 195 vote that would codify the right to contraception into law, but its future in the U.S. Senate is uncertain. All Democrats in the House voted in support of the bill. Most Republicans opposed it, but […]

Texas laws say treatments for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies remain legal but leave lots of space for confusion

Treatments for miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies are still legal under the state’s abortion ban, according to state law and legal experts. But the statutes don’t account for complicated miscarriages, and confusion has led some providers to delay or deny care for patients in Texas.

Texas laws banning abortions make narrow exceptions only to save the life of a pregnant patient or prevent “substantial impairment of major bodily function.” And lawmakers in recent years have clarified state statutes to say treatments for miscarriages, known as “spontaneous abortions” in medicine, and ectopic pregnancies, in which a fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus and becomes unviable, do not count as abortions.

Nonprofit alleges legal violations as medical debt lawsuits continue unabated during pandemic

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a 2021 bill into law carving out new consumer protections for people with medical debt. The law required hospitals and debt collection agencies to verify patients’ income level before taking them to court or sending a hefty bill. But some hospitals have routinely failed to […]

U.S. House passes equality bill, but future uncertain

With bipartisan support, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation to enshrine marriage equality into legislation on Tuesday by repealing the Defense of Marriage Act. The House voted 267 in favor with 157 Republicans voting no. All 220 Democrats voted in support of the repeal and 47 Republicans crossed the […]

‘Is your land for sale?’ Alarming offers to buy property in the burn zone

April Hoogerhuies got the phone call in the middle of packing up her home in Las Vegas, frantically trying to get things ready in case the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon inferno forced her to evacuate.   “Is your land for sale?” the caller inquired. It was two weeks after the wildfire started, […]

Amid drought, stressed trees fall victims of bark beetle

Dead and dying piñon trees dot the slopes of northwest New Mexico, particularly in an area north of Cuba. For the past few years, the State Forestry Department has been monitoring the die off. John Formby, a forest health specialist with the State Forestry Department, said bark beetles have been […]

What happens when formula is scarce

The national infant formula shortage has been a crisis for many in New Mexico, but for parents of children who have dietary limitations or are differently abled, the shortage has been especially frightening. Two parents talked to NM Political Report about their ongoing struggles to find specific formula to provide […]

Pastor says Ronchetti would seek to ban abortion

Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti reportedly told Legacy Church Senior Pastor Steve Smothermon that he wants to ban abortion if elected. Ronchetti has publicly stated that, if elected, he will seek to ban what he calls “partial-birth abortions” by making it illegal after 15 weeks. Ronchetti said in a recent […]

New Mexico communities bordering Texas hope to capitalize on cannabis sales

Believe it or not, Sunland Park, a southern New Mexico city with a reported population of just 17,000, has an entertainment district. The city’s entertainment district is currently home to an amusement park and a horse racetrack with its own casino and hotel.  The city is so close to El […]

Niece of vanished Navajo woman embarks on 2,100-mile walk to call attention to missing and murdered indigenous women crisis

In the wee hours of June 15, 2021, Ella Mae Begay vanished from her home on the Navajo Nation, near Sweetwater, Arizona. She was 62 years old. Within days of Begay’s disappearance, a person of interest was named in the case and local search parties were scouring the roadsides and […]

New Mexico’s oil and gas revenues are breaking records and complicating budgets

Oil and gas revenues added more than $1.7 billion to New Mexico coffers in the first four months of the year — more than in any other four-month period in state history. A lot more. Records compiled by the New Mexico Tax and Revenue Department show that year-on-year, revenues from January […]

Court restores Endangered Species Act provisions repealed under Trump

Biodiversity advocates say a court decision that reverses policies instituted under former President Donald Trump that weakened the Endangered Species Act is a bright spot amid recent legal decisions and will help thousands of plants and animals. Last week a federal court vacated the policies which, Joe Bushyhead, WildEarth Guardians’ […]

Growing Forward: Tribal governments navigate legal cannabis

For years, as conversations and debates in Congress and state legislatures about legalizing cannabis took place, an often overlooked piece of the puzzle was what legalization meant for tribal governments.  In most states that have legalized recreational-use cannabis, state governments have entered into agreements with sovereign nations, allowing tribes to […]

Abortion rights protest marches in D.C. – a story in photos

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NM Political Report traveled to Washington, D.C. shortly after the court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June. Protesters held multiple over five days. Every day some abortion rights protesters stood in front of the court, which is currently fenced off, to give voice to the millions […]

Biden issues executive order to protect reproductive care

President Joe Biden issued an executive order on Friday to protect reproductive care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last month. Amid cries among progressives that Biden should take steps to protect abortion with measures such as expanding the court or provide abortion on […]

Abortion providers make plans to open clinics and expand care in New Mexico

Whole Women’s Health, an abortion provider in Texas as well as other states, is trying to raise more than $700,000 to move to New Mexico. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last month, some abortion providers in states hostile to reproductive care have begun […]

Data brokers announce the end of location data selling for people who visit abortion clinics

Two data brokers committed to ending the sale of location data of people who visit abortion clinics. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat, announced the commitment on Thursday. The announcement was in response to two letters from 13 senators, including Luján, to end the practice. One of the companies, SafeGraph, […]

With San Juan Generating Station Unit One retired, rate credits are pending NM Supreme Court decision

Should the New Mexico Supreme Court uphold a state regulators’ order requiring the largest electric utility in the state to issue rate credits following the closure of each remaining unit of the San Juan Generating Station, those rate credits would likely begin during the August billing cycle. Raymond Sandoval, a […]

New study shows how drought led to deadly temperatures in the southwest in 2021

With the changing climate, incidents like droughts and heatwaves can be interlinked.  This was the case in 2021 when the drought conditions in the southwest United States triggered record-breaking heat, according to a study published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on June 18. Johns Hopkins University researchers Benjamin Zaitchek […]

Texas v. New Mexico water trial delayed for settlement talks

A trial in the case Texas brought against New Mexico centered around Rio Grande water use has once again been delayed. This delay comes amid negotiations that could lead to a settlement. In the case, which dates back to 2013, Texas argues that use of groundwater in New Mexico below […]

Fish and Wildlife Service faces criticism over finalized Mexican wolf rule

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services finalized its Mexican Wolf rule that removes the cap on the population size within the experimental range and focuses on increasing genetic diversity by limiting when wolves can be killed and through releases of captive wolves into the wild using methods like cross-fostering. Immediately […]

Otero County Commission denies Couy Griffin legal help in personal lawsuit

On Friday, the Otero County Commission voted against providing legal counsel for controversial Commissioner Couy Griffin. Griffin himself did not vote on the issue but the other two commissioners voted against approving county-provided legal representation for Griffin in a lawsuit against him filed in state district court.    Griffin has gained […]

Guv talks about New Mexico reproductive rights with Biden

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other Democratic governors met virtually with President Joe Biden on Friday to discuss what Democratic-led states are doing to protect abortion rights. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending the federal constitutional right to abortion care. This means that […]

U.S. Supreme Court says Biden has authority to end anti-immigration policy

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that President Joe Biden has the authority to end the Trump-era immigration policy forbidding asylum seekers from entering the U.S. On its final day of the 2020-2021 term, the Supreme Court agreed with Biden in Biden v. Texas that he has the authority […]

New Mexico’s Paid Sick Leave law goes into effect

A group of legislators, advocates and individuals celebrated the start of New Mexico’s Paid Sick Leave law, which officially starts Friday. The Paid Sick Leave bill passed after a bitter fight between Democrats in the state Senate in the final hours before the legislature ended. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed […]

U.S. Supreme Court ruling ‘a huge blow’ to efforts to combat climate change

A U.S. Supreme Court decision issued Thursday limits the ability for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement measures to combat climate change.  In a 6-3 ruling, the high court ruled that Congress did not give the EPA the authority to devise emission caps “based on the generation shifting approach […]

PRC accuses PNM of misleading regulators, requires utility to issue rate credits upon San Juan unit closures

While accusing the state’s largest electric utility of purposefully misleading regulators, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission ordered the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to issue rate credits to customers upon the closure of each remaining unit of the San Juan Generating Station. In its order, approved by […]

Grant County chooses not to renew contract with federal wildlife killing agency

A rural county in the heart of wolf country chose not to renew a contract with the federal agency tasked with killing carnivores that are deemed problematic. The Grant County Commission voted 2-1 against renewing its contract with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife […]

Girls more likely to suffer depression and suicide, CDC report finds 

According to a recent report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , girls experience persistent feelings of sadness and suicide at higher rates than boys and the trend is on an uptick. The report, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, shows that this problem has been on an upward […]

Guv issues executive order to further protect abortion access in New Mexico

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order on Monday to protect abortion providers from extradition if other states hostile to abortion rights attempt to pursue charges against the providers. Lujan Grisham signed the order during a press conference on Monday. She was flanked by representatives from […]

Biden amends disaster declaration for wildfire, increasing time for NM to receive federal assistance

President Joe Biden authorized an increase in federal funds available to New Mexico in light of the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire, which was sparked by U.S. Forest Service prescribed burns. The additional funding available through the disaster declaration that was amended on Monday will help with debris removal and emergency […]

Biden expands LGTBQIA+ rights in sweeping executive order

President Joe Biden signed an executive order earlier this month to expand equality for LGBTQIA+ individuals. The order is sweeping and involves several different federal agencies. It says that while the U.S. has advanced LGBTQIA+ rights in significant ways, much still needs to be done, particularly for transgender individuals and […]

Washington D.C. abortion rights rally marches to blockaded Pennsylvania Avenue

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A group of protestors supporting abortion rights marched for about four miles from the U.S. Supreme Court building to Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. on Sunday. Marching to chants such as “we are not incubators,” “we won’t go back” and “this is what democracy looks like,” the […]

U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, creating public health emergency

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade Friday morning, creating what individuals working on the front lines of reproductive access in New Mexico called a “public health emergency” during a press conference Friday afternoon. Farinaz Khan, a healthcare provider, said every abortion clinic in four states closed by Friday […]

A New Mexico Indigenous group has been addressing menstrual product shortage long before it became a national issue

Although the media began focusing on the menstrual product shortage in recent weeks, grassroots organization Indigenous Women Rising have been focused on the shortage since at least the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rachel Lorenzo, Mescalero Apache/Laguna Pueblo/Xicana and co-founder of IWR, said that when Tribal governments began giving out […]

NM Game and Fish urges people to be ‘bear aware’ during drought

Drought doesn’t only impact the availability of food and water for people and, as dry conditions continue to grip the state even amid the start of monsoon season, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has urged residents to be “bear aware.” Bear-human encounters tend to increase in drought […]

Majority of voters support NM’s law protecting abortion access

A poll commissioned by NM Political Report found that a majority of voters support abortion rights, including a law protecting abortion rights recently passed by the state legislature, and also are poised to approve dipping into the state’s massive land grant permanent fund for education funding. Abortion rights could be […]

PRC hearing examiners: PNM ‘scheming’ and engaging in ‘guileful manipulation’ of the Energy Transition Act

Late Friday, hearing examiners from the state entity that regulates electric utilities issued a recommendation to require the state’s largest electric utility to issue rate credits for customers. In the 119-page recommended decision, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hearing examiners, Anthony Medeiros and Ashley Schannauer, used words like “scheming” […]

Dems lead in SOS, AG races

Democrats hold leads in the races for Secretary of State and Attorney General, two high profile statewide positions. Races for Secretary of State across the nation, in states where the position is the chief elections officer, have received renewed attention this cycle because of efforts by many Republicans to restrict […]

Slight majority of voters give thumbs up to Gov on COVID response

A slight majority of voters support Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, while a slight plurality say the same about President Joe Biden according to a poll commissioned by NM Political Report. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that 51 percent of voters approve of […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham with narrow lead at start of general election

A new poll commissioned by NM Political Report shows that incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham holds a narrow lead over Republican nominee Mark Ronchetti at the start of the general election campaign. The poll by Public Policy Polling shows Lujan Grisham leads Ronchetti 45 percent to 42 percent, with Libertarian […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham even approval/disapproval ratings

Just under 50 percent of New Mexico voters approve of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s job performance according to a recent poll commissioned by NM Political Report. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, found that 48 percent of New Mexico voters approved of her job performance while an equal 48 […]

Facing removal from office, criminal charges, Otero County certifies election results

A controversy over certifying election results in Otero County that made national headlines ended quietly on Friday with a 2-1 vote in favor of certifying the results.  Facing possible criminal charges and removal from office, Otero County Commissioners Gerald Matherly and Vickie Marquardt voted to certify the county’s primary election […]

NM cannabis regulation director resigns

After less than a year in the position, the director of New Mexico’s Cannabis Control Division has left the division.  A spokesperson for the state’s Regulation and Licensing Division, which oversees the Cannabis Control Division, confirmed that Kristen Thomson resigned from her role as director of the division.  In an […]

New Mexico legislators meet with White House officials over abortion

With the U.S. Supreme Court decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Healthcare a few weeks away, White House officials held a conference call with New Mexico legislators and others about the impending reproductive healthcare crisis. House Majority Leader Javier Martinez of Albuquerque, state Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena of Mesilla and […]

EPA, state reach settlement over Gold King Mine spill

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency agreed to pay the state of New Mexico $32 million as part of a settlement announced Thursday in the Gold King Mine spill case. In August 2015, EPA crews triggered a mine spill in Colorado that sent heavy-metal laden water into the Animas River, which […]

White House approves New Mexico expansion of Medicaid postpartum care

Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Thursday the expansion of postpartum Medicaid coverage for New Mexico and a few other states. The federal government made changes to Medicaid rules last year, which allowed states to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage from two months to 12. New Mexico began working last year […]

State Supreme Court orders Otero County Commission to certify primary election results

The New Mexico Supreme Court ordered three county commissioners in southern New Mexico to comply with state law by certifying the county’s primary election results.  After the three-member Otero County Commission refused to certify election results during a meeting on Monday, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver filed […]

PRC opens inquiry into utility vegetation management practices

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an order to open an inquiry into the practices of utilities when it comes to the vegetiative management. The order issued Wednesday requires investor-owned electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives to provide the regulatory body with copies of their current practices and […]

NM cannabis company, medical cannabis patients sue health care providers

The New Mexico Legislature last year approved a bill aimed at eliminating out-of-pocket costs for behavioral health. When Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the measure into law, she said in a press release that the bill could “make a real, meaningful difference” by eliminating copays for behavioral health services.  Now, […]

Amid Biden’s visit, push continues to get additional help for fire victims

Rock Ulibarri says he tries to be self-sufficient, including growing food and ranching at his northern New Mexico home. But the merged Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires that forced evacuations in several counties have made this hard for his family as they’ve lost food and face increased costs.  As […]

U.S. senators reach deal on gun legislation in aftermath of Uvalde shooting

WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators, including Texan John Cornyn, announced Sunday the framework for a legislative deal to address gun violence in the aftermath of the May 24 mass shooting that left 19 children and two teachers dead at a Uvalde elementary school.

The tentative deal includes a mix of modest gun control proposals and funding for mental health. It would incentivize states to pass “red flag” laws, which are designed to keep guns out of the hands of individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others; boost funding for mental health services, telehealth resources and more school security; permit juvenile records to be incorporated into background checks for purchasers under the age of 21 and crack down on the straw purchase and trafficking of guns.

Indian Youth Service Corps aims to combat climate change, empower Native youth

The U.S. Department of the Interior launched the new Indian Youth Service Corps and announced the program guidelines on Friday. This program—which was created through the John S. McCain III 21st Century Conservation Service Corps Act—is modeled after other successful programs like the Ancestral Lands Conservation Corps. The Department of […]

Anger toward the Forest Service has been smoldering for a century. Raging wildfires brought it roaring to life.

TIERRA MONTE — The air smells of ash and the landscape is leached of color. Spots of green punctuate the valley floor in places. But along the ridges, the powdery residue of charred trees has fallen like snow, accumulating up to 4 inches deep. These are the slices of forest […]

Phase one of gas waste rule wraps up, OCD launches new public portal

As the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department’s Oil Conservation Division reviewed gas capture data submitted by operators, the regulators noticed several companies reporting more than 100 percent gas capture, which OCD Director Adrienne Sandoval said is impossible. Phase one of the natural gas waste rule, which required data collection […]

Land acquisition near Mt. Taylor brings sacred sites out of private ownership, preserves habitat

Sacred lands that have been cut off from access will once again be accessible to the public, including the Indigenous people who once served as stewards of those lands. Conservation groups, tribes, federal officials and state leaders teamed up to acquire 54,000 acres near Laguna and west of Albuquerque. Part […]

U.S. Senators ask Biden to take executive action on abortion

A group of 25 senators, including Sen. Martin Heinrich, signed a letter to President Joe Biden this week urging him to take executive action to defend reproductive rights across the U.S. The letter urges Biden to issue an executive order to direct the federal government to develop a national plan. […]

Ronchetti wins Republican nomination for governor

Mark Ronchetti, a former meteorologist, won the Republican primary for governor and will face incumbent Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham this November. Ronchetti won a five-way primary after being the candidate with the highest name recognition and the most campaign funds throughout the primary. In his victory speech, Ronchetti touted his […]

NM primaries were a mixed bag for state House incumbents

Voters decided on the nominees for the New Mexico House of Representatives in every district in the state on Tuesday. While many incumbents either successfully defended their seats from others in their own respective parties or did not face opponents at all, other races ended with ousted incumbents or new […]

Torrez wins Democratic Party nomination for attorney general

Raúl Torrez won the Democratic nomination for state attorney general, defeating Brian Colón. Torrez is a former federal prosecutor whose resume includes attending both Harvard and Stanford universities. He currently serves as the Bernalillo County district attorney—a position he has held for five years—and that county provided him with a healthy […]

Former Las Cruces City Councilor Vasquez wins CD2 Democratic nomination

The Associated Press has called former Las Cruces City Councilor Gabriel “Gabe” Vasquez the winner of the Democratic primary election for the 2nd Congressional District nomination, defeating Dr. Darshan Patel, of Lea County. On the Republican side, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell did not face a primary opponent. Vasquez will now […]

Biden signs RECA extension

President Joe Biden signed an extension of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act today, which lengthens the time that people who got sick after being exposed to radiation from uranium mining and processing or nuclear testing in Nevada have to apply for financial compensation. This extension keeps the possibility of expanding […]

What to watch for in today’s primary elections

Voters, at least those who have not voted already, will decide which candidates will take part in November’s general election today.  State races The marquee race is on the Republican side, where five Republicans vie for the party’s nomination for governor. The winner will face incumbent Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham […]

NM misses deadline for cannabis training standards

When the state Legislature debated the New Mexico Cannabis Regulation Act, many lawmakers raised concerns about the health and safety of the public in a post-legalization world. Some expressed concerns about ingesting too much cannabis, while others raised concerns about intoxicated driving in a state that already battles with some […]

Senators push for more funding for wildfire smoke monitoring

The western United States has experienced some of the largest fires in recorded history in recent years and the smoke from those blazes has impacted human health and the environment. Now politicians from several of the states impacted by the fires are pushing for increased funding for the U.S. Environmental […]

Abortion opponents take political risks by dropping exceptions for rape, incest, and the mother’s life

If it seems as though the anti-abortion movement has gotten more extreme in recent months, that’s because it has. But it’s not the first time — positions taken by both sides of the abortion debate have ebbed and flowed repeatedly in the 49 years since the Supreme Court declared abortion […]

What the Violence Against Women Act doesn’t do

The 2022 federal reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act has been hailed as good news, but there are problems it doesn’t solve. President Joe Biden signed VAWA reauthorization earlier this spring. The last time U.S. Congress reauthorized it was in 2013. It is supposed to be reauthorized every five […]

Growing Forward: Risk and Reward

Companies that are venturing into the New Mexico cannabis industry are likely learning how difficult it can be to secure capital, buildings and insurance.  Growing Forward, the collaborative podcast between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, explored those topics in its latest episode.  In late May, New Mexico’s chapter […]

Researchers say fire policies should take demographics into account

After an update about the Black Fire in southern New Mexico and efforts to fight it, a woman attending a community meeting in Truth or Consequences on Thursday asked for information about what it is like to be evacuated, telling the officials that she’d never faced an evacuation before.  Thousands […]

Why won’t the EPA fine New Mexico’s greenhouse gas leakers?

In the fall of 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hired a helicopter equipped with a leak-detecting infrared camera to criss-cross the Permian Basin looking for gaseous emissions, part of a monitoring program undertaken at the behest of and in partnership with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). Over the course […]

USFS says January burn led to Calf Canyon Fire

The U.S. Forest Service officially took responsibility for the Calf Canyon Fire on Friday in an announcement. The Forest Service says a pile burn in January led to the blaze that later joined with the Hermits Peak Fire and became the largest wildfire in state history.  The embers from the […]

NM collects $2.4 million in cannabis taxes for first month of sales

The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department announced on Friday that it has collected more than $2.4 million in cannabis excise taxes for April, which was the first month of adult-use sales in the state.  The Cannabis Regulation Act, which was approved by the New Mexico Legislature and Gov. Michelle […]

New Mexico’s legal desert affects victims of violence

While the federal reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act will ensure services for victims for several more years, victims will likely still struggle due to New Mexico’s “legal desert.” VAWA] provides funding to state and local programming and agencies to help those who suffer gender-based violence. The U.S. Congress […]

Delays in Navajo-Gallup pipeline mean new wells have to be drilled

Two more groundwater wells will be drilled to meet the City of Gallup’s water demands until surface water can be transported to the area from the San Juan River. Delays in the construction of the Navajo-Gallup Water Supply Project mean that the City of Gallup must rely on groundwater supplies […]

What the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization means for the LGBTQ community 

Expansions in the Violence Against Women Act, signed by President Joe Biden this spring, recognize the LGBTQ community for the first time. Initially enacted in 1994, VAWA improves responses to gender-based violence through federal dollars to various state and local programs and agencies, including the courts. Congress last reauthorized the […]

Environmental groups release new oil and gas threats map

In an effort to pressure President Joe Biden’s administration to enact stronger oil and gas regulations, national environmental advocacy groups have released a new map that shows where people’s health is threatened by extraction. Earthworks and FracTrack Alliance coordinated to create the map using publicly-available data and peer-reviewed science. The […]

Los Alamos team models drought, climate change on the Colorado River

Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory modeled future drought indicators to gauge how climate change could impact the Colorado River Basin. “We really think that drought is one of the greatest risks in terms of climate change to the stability of the Colorado River Basin,” said Katrina Bennett, a member […]

Businesses that help employees get abortions could be next target of Texas lawmakers if Roe v. Wade is overturned

With Texas poised to automatically ban abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, some Republicans are already setting their sights on the next target to fight the procedure: businesses that say they’ll help employees get abortions outside the state.

Fourteen Republican members of the state House of Representatives have pledged to introduce bills in the coming legislative session that would bar corporations from doing business in Texas if they pay for abortions in states where the procedure is legal.

With climate change fueling wildfires, changes are needed to prevent worse scenarios

Climate change is contributing to the large wildfires that western states like New Mexico are experiencing, and scientists say humans need to make changes to prevent worse fire risks. New Mexico’s largest wildfire in recorded history surpassed 300,000 acres this week and it is not the only large fire burning […]

In light of drought, NM congresswomen introduce bills focused on water and science

As New Mexico water users face ongoing shortages, the three congresswomen representing the state introduced two pieces of legislation intended to help communities—the Rio Grande Water Security Act and the Water Data Act. “We know that our farmers and our communities are struggling to meet their water needs,” U.S. Rep. […]

U.S. Supreme Court Samuel Alito’s history of abortion differs from historians and Indigenous reproductive leaders 

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito provided a history of abortion rights in the U.S. in his draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. His narrative, aimed at why the medical procedure should no longer have federal protection, focused on states making the medical practice illegal in the […]

Uninsured homes leave New Mexicans vulnerable in areas hit by wildfires

Outside of the Glorieta Adventure Camp dining hall, 56-year-old Lisa Blackburde was having an emotion-filled conversation with a couple of other evacuees.  Nearly three weeks ago, as the fast-moving Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire made a run toward her home near Ledoux, Blackburde heeded a mandatory evacuation order that had already […]

Some NM cannabis producers may face higher than expected tax bill

New Mexico recreational-use cannabis companies, for the first time, are required to file their gross receipts and cannabis excise taxes in one week. It’s unclear exactly how much the state is set to collect, but cannabis regulators reported more than $20 million in recreational-use sales for the month of April.  […]

Growing Forward: It’s not easy being green

The nascent New Mexico cannabis industry is generally expected to contribute tens of millions of dollars to state revenue this year, but some new cannabis businesses are learning firsthand how hard it can be to raise enough capital to operate.  This week’s episode of Growing Forward, the collaborative cannabis podcast […]

Diminishing returns: In the San Juan Basin, small energy companies have an outsized impact

FARMINGTON — On Oct. 21, 1921, residents in Farmington heard a hissing roar as a natural gas well 10 miles upriver blew skyward — the debut of the first commercial well in the coal-bed formation known as the San Juan Basin. This stream of natural gas would transform northwestern New […]

Hundreds protest in Las Cruces for abortion rights 

More than 200 individuals protested the potential “roll back” of abortion rights on Saturday in Las Cruces. The U.S. Supreme Court’s draft decision, leaked in early May, on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization indicated the court will likely overturn the 1973 decision that expanded reproductive rights in the U.S. […]

What the Supreme Court abortion draft opinion means for Indigenous people

Earlier this spring, the need for financial assistance to obtain an abortion caused abortion fund provider Indigenous Women Rising to take a break so the grassroots organization could “catch up” financially. The need was “so intense” IWR almost ran out of money, Rachel Lorenzo (Mescalero Apache/Laguna Pueblo/Xicana), co-founder of IWR, […]

Fish and Wildlife Service releases draft recommended decision for Mexican wolves

A draft recommended decision in the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan would eliminate the population cap and temporarily restrict when a wolf can be killed, but environmental advocates say it still falls short of the reforms needed to ensure genetic diversity. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the final […]

Student group at New Mexico State University responds to U.S. Supreme Court draft decision

Responding to the U.S. Supreme Court’s draft document that, once leaked in early May, revealed the court appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, a new student group at New Mexico State University is taking shape. The U.S. Supreme Court heard Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization last December. The […]

What the court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade could mean to New Mexico’s LGBTQIA+ community

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, as is now expected this summer, the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community will be thrown into jeopardy, advocates believe. In the leaked draft opinion that reveals the Supreme Court will likely overturn Roe v. Wade this summer, Supreme Court Justice Samuel […]

NM Congressional Democrats introduce bill to help those impacted by the Hermits Peak Fire

As the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fire continues to grow, New Mexico’s Congressional Democrats have introduced legislation to increase the aid available to people who have lost their homes, businesses and other property. The joined fires have now grown to be the largest wildfire in state history at 259,810 […]

Senate blocks effort to codify Roe v. Wade

A vote in the U.S. Senate to end the filibuster on the Women’s Health Protection Act failed on Wednesday. The Senate took up the issue originally in February when Senate Republicans filibustered the bill. To end the filibuster and allow the Senate to vote on the legislation, Senate Democrats needed […]

RECA extension passes House, heads to president’s desk

The U.S. House of Representatives approved an extension to the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act on Wednesday, which means the bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk. The extension received unanimous support from the U.S. Senate last week. Without this extension, the program that provides one-time financial support to families […]

Travel nurses see swift change of fortunes as Covid money runs dry

Tiffanie Jones was a few tanks of gas into her drive from Tampa, Florida, to Cheyenne, Wyoming, when she found out her travel nurse contract had been canceled. Jones, who has been a nurse for 17 years, caught up with a Facebook group for travel nurses and saw she wasn’t […]

How much do we know about our watersheds? New study says gaps in knowledge exist because of ‘bias’ in stream gauge placement

Corey Krabbenhoft saw the ebbs and flows of New Mexico’s rivers growing up in Albuquerque. From that experience, she knew how many of the waterways in the state only flow at certain times of the year. As a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Buffalo, she is the lead author […]

‘This is a U.S. problem:’ Families gather in Farmington to raise awareness about MMIWR

Rose Yazzie last spoke to her daughter, Ranelle Rose Bennett, in June of last year. They were talking about a birthday party for Bennett’s daughter, Yazzie’s granddaughter.  Yazzie recalls that her daughter hugged her for longer than usual. Looking back, she wonders if she missed the signs that something was […]

New Mexico’s Clean Car Rule will go into effect July 1

New Mexico car dealerships will soon be required to stock a small percentage of electric vehicles under the state’s newly adopted Clean Car Rule. The Environmental Improvement Board and Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Air Quality Control Board both approved the new rules upon the conclusion of a two-day meeting this week. The […]

Deputy Interior Secretary discusses water infrastructure during visit to Belen

The New Belen Wasteway is an example of how infrastructure funding can accomplish the shared goals of resiliency and protecting water for both people and the ecosystem, Deputy Secretary of the Interior Tommy Beaudreau said during a tour of the facility this week in Belen. The New Belen Wasteway is […]

Impact of Oklahoma’s six-week abortion ban a precursor of what’s to come

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains and other providers could be opening up more brick-and-mortar abortion clinics near New Mexico state lines, one official with PPRM said. On the heels of the leaked U.S. Supreme Court document this week, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill Tuesday, effectively immediately, that […]

Abortion will remain legal in New Mexico, even after U.S. Supreme Court decision

If the Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization becomes reality in late June or early July, New Mexico will remain what some have called “a beacon” of legal abortion care. The state legislature passed and the governor signed last year the Respect New Mexico […]

NM expected to pay an estimated $15 million in tax refunds to medical cannabis companies

New Mexico cannabis businesses are expected to pay cannabis excise and gross receipts taxes by the end of this month. But the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department is also expected to issue about $15 million dollars worth of gross receipts refunds to medical cannabis companies that paid those taxes prior […]

NM Cannabis regulators lift cease and desist order from producer

A New Mexico cannabis company that was ordered to cease operations at one of its Santa Fe facilities can now resume its operation.  According to a letter from Cannabis Control Division Director Kristen Thomson to cannabis company Sacred Garden, state regulators lifted a previously issued cease and desist order on […]

Advocates, elected officials and the public respond with rallies and outrage over Supreme Court draft decision on abortion rights

The leaked draft of a U.S. Supreme Court decision on the case that appears poised to overturn Roe v. Wade woke up many on Tuesday to a “shocking” reality which may be imminent. Politico released on Monday a leaked draft document, dated February from the Supreme Court. The document is […]

Silverspot butterfly, found in northern New Mexico, could receive federal protection

A butterfly found in northern New Mexico could soon be added to the list of threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Tuesday that it is considering listing a subspecies of the silverspot butterfly, which is found in high elevation areas ranging […]

Lawsuit: State, managed care organizations not providing care to ‘most vulnerable’ children

Disability Rights New Mexico and three families filed a suit against the state and three managed care organizations for allegedly not providing necessary care to medically fragile children. The managed care organizations are New Mexico Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Presbyterian Health Plan and Western Sky Community Care.  Medicaid is […]

Weather station network intended to provide some security for farmers, ranchers

Government programs provide insurance for ranchers if they lose their forage crops due to lack of rain, but the scarcity of rain gauges in New Mexico has limited the usefulness of this insurance, according to legislators who secured funding to build a network of weather stations throughout the state. State […]

Comments sought on SunZia transmission project

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is accepting comments on proposed amendments to the SunZia Southwest Transmission Project that will move electricity from New Mexico across Arizona and into California. The BLM released a 525-page draft Environmental Impact Statement and draft Resource Management Plan amendment on Friday. This came after […]

At the border of the American dream

Fidel Pérez made his way from Durango, Mexico, to Juárez and then to Chaparral, New Mexico, in 1970. He was cleaning yards and working in the agricultural fields of nearby Anthony when border patrol officials arrested him. When they asked why he had come to the United States, he replied, […]

PRC rejects argument that state law requires approval of full decoupling

Asan increasing number of people install solar panels on their houses or make energy efficiency upgrades, the amount of electricity utilities sell may go down. This can impact the utility’s revenue streams, even as costs of maintaining and upgrading infrastructure remain. One way to address this is known as decoupling […]

A NM facility that grows seedlings for reforestation had to evacuate due to wildfire

As fires char tens of thousands of acres of land in New Mexico, the very place tasked with growing seedlings to reforest is now facing the threat of wildfire. New Mexico State University’s John T. Harrington Forest Research Center, located in Mora, was evacuated this week. Owen Burney, the center’s […]

Heinrich pushes for hardrock mining reform

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, has once again introduced legislation attempting to reform what he describes as an outdated hardrock mining law.  On Tuesday, Heinrich introduced the Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act, which would strengthen the regulations for hardrock mining. U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, also a […]

Computer modeling can help prescribed burn decisions

Prescribed burns can be a key weapon in preventing catastrophic wildfire, but finding the right window to burn can be challenging and, with dry conditions, prescribed burning in New Mexico has come to a halt. A modeling effort by Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists aims to provide agencies with a […]

Take uranium contamination off our land, Navajos urge federal nuclear officials

The gale-force winds that swept across New Mexico on Friday, driving fires and evacuations, gave Diné residents in a small western New Mexico community an opportunity to demonstrate first hand the danger they live with every day. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) members were in the Red Water Pond Road community, […]

Judge’s ruling on the CDC mask mandate highlights the limits of the agency’s power

The role that the federal government plays in containing future epidemics will hinge on the outcome of an appeal of this week’s court ruling that overturned the mask mandate for travelers on airlines, trains, and the nation’s mass transit systems. A federal court judge in Florida said the Centers for […]

NM Interstate Stream Commission approves cloud seeding application

As New Mexico creeps closer to having 100 percent of the state experiencing some level of drought, cloud seeding may help bring water to counties in the southeastern part of the state. The Interstate Stream Commission approved a weather modification application during its monthly meeting on Thursday. The cloud seeding […]

Albuquerque’s air quality has worsened, according to new State of the Air report

Albuquerque has some of the worst air pollution in the country, according to the State of the Air Report released Thursday by the American Lung Association. The report ranked the city and its surrounding area with the 22nd-worst air pollution in terms of ozone from 2018 through 2020, and Albuquerque […]

Study finds high share of methane emissions from low-producing oil and gas well sites

As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency develops policies for methane emissions from oil and gas production, environmental advocacy groups have a new tool to back their calls for regular leak detection and repair at all sites, including those that produce limited amounts of oil and gas. Scientists with the Environmental […]

Can anti-abortion state laws affect New Mexicans?

Two states are considering laws – one that supports abortion rights and one that doesn’t – that attempt to reach out of their states’ jurisdictions. One bill, California’s AB 1666, protects Californians from Texas SB 8 and other copycat state laws prohibiting “aiding or abetting” an abortion in states where […]

Growing Forward: Cannabis testing takes center stage

The third episode of Growing Forward’s fourth season is out just in time for April 20, or 4/20, the unofficial holiday for many cannabis users.  Growing Forward is a collaborative podcast between New Mexico PBS and NM Political Report, all about cannabis in New Mexico. This week, the podcast examines, […]

Texas has spent billions of dollars on border security. But what taxpayers got in return is a mystery.

In October 2005, Texas Gov. Rick Perry traveled to the border city of Laredo and announced Operation Linebacker, a new initiative that he said would protect the state’s residents from terrorist groups such as al-Qaida.

Without pointing to evidence, Perry said such terrorist groups, along with drug cartels and gangs, were attempting to exploit the U.S.-Mexico border. A press release from the governor’s office said Perry warned that after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, criminal organizations could “import terror, illegal narcotics and weapons of mass destruction.”

Federal appeals court rejects ranchers’ bid to overturn critical habitat designation for endangered mouse

A federal appeals court rejected two cattle groups’ arguments that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service inadequately evaluated the economic implications of designating critical habitat for the meadow jumping mouse in New Mexico. The Northern New Mexico Stockman’s Association and the Otero County Cattleman’s Association sued the Fish and Wildlife […]

Anxiety, emotions and crises surge as NM students return to school

For many students in New Mexico, going back to school after months of online learning was a stormy experiment in resocialization. Reuniting with friends and peers brought joy and relief to most, but the process of reentry could also be jarring and chaotic, especially for those who felt the harshest […]

State board adopts rules regulating emissions from oil, natural gas relating to ozone

After a lengthy discussion, the Environmental Improvement Board adopted ozone precursor rules on Wednesday evening. The weeks-long hearing involved in depth discussions of each section and modifications to the rule. The EIB voted on each individual section and definition. These rules apply to oil and gas production in counties that […]

FWS releases revision to wolf recovery plan addressing poaching

Following a court order, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its plans to address poaching of Mexican wolves, as well as other human-caused mortalities. An update to the 2017 recovery plan was published in the Federal Register on Thursday, opening up a 30-day public comment period. “Mexican wolves continue […]

NM judge orders cannabis regulators, producer to agree on testing ‘regimen’

A New Mexico cannabis producer asked to halt a majority of its operations by the Cannabis Control Division after reports of mold is still barred from selling its cannabis flower, for at least another week. In a hearing on Wednesday, Santa Fe state district judge Bryan Biedscheid ordered cannabis regulators […]

Water Quality Control Commission hears arguments for Upper Pecos protections

The Upper Pecos watershed is an important water source and members of the communities that rely on it say that it needs to be protected. The Water Quality Control Commission heard arguments for listing the Upper Pecos watershed as Outstanding National Resource Waters during its monthly meeting on Tuesday. ONRW […]

Money for abandoned uranium mine cleanup spurs questions about design, jobs

Uranium mines are personal for Dariel Yazzie. Now head of the Navajo Nation’s Superfund program, Yazzie grew up near Monument Valley, Arizona, where the Vanadium Corporation of America started uranium operations in the 1940s. His childhood home sat a stone’s throw from piles of waste from uranium milling, known as […]

International trade halted at Texas border crossings as truckers protest Greg Abbott’s new inspections

Commercial traffic at a key South Texas border crossing has stopped after Mexican truckers on Monday blocked north- and southbound lanes on the Mexico side of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge in protest of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to have state troopers inspect northbound commercial vehicles — historically a job done by the federal government.

The bridge connecting Pharr and Reynosa is the busiest trade crossing in the Rio Grande Valley and handles the majority of the produce that crosses into the U.S. from Mexico, including avocados, broccoli, peppers, strawberries and tomatoes. On Monday, with trucks backed up for miles in Reynosa for the fifth day in a row, some produce importers in Texas said they have waited days for their goods to arrive and already had buyers cancel orders.

Game Commission recommends delisting of Gould’s turkey

The New Mexico Game Commission has recommended delisting the Gould’s turkey following a unanimous vote during Monday’s meeting in Santa Fe. The bird, which is found in the southwest corner of the state, was added to the state’s threatened species list in 1974. It is the largest subspecies of the […]

Abortion rights could play a key role in the race for southern New Mexico’s U.S. House seat 

With a Supreme Court decision expected this summer on the Mississippi anti-abortion law most court watchers believe will overturn or gut protections granted by Roe v. Wade, Democrats and Republicans could find abortion playing a large role in the upcoming race for U.S. House representation in southern New Mexico. This […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham signs special session relief bill

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a bill on Friday that will provide New Mexicans with payments up to $1,000.  HB 2, which the Legislature passed earlier this week during a special legislative session, uses $698 million to provide $500 to single tax filers and $1,000 to joint filers. The legislation […]

Conflicting views on when or if NM is headed for a medical cannabis shortage

Cannabis producers in New Mexico have their collective eyes on daily sales numbers to determine what sort of demand there will be moving forward a week after recreational-use sales started.  The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division reported more than $5.2 million in combined medical and recreational-use cannabis sales and more […]

Study finds Native American communities face greater air pollution burdens

A study from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that, while air pollution has been decreasing nationally, Native American communities are less likely to see those reductions. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health. Maggie Li, the lead author, said in an email […]

Recovering America’s Wildlife Act receives Senate committee approval

The federal Recovering America’s Wildlife Act cleared the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on a 15-5 vote Thursday, advancing what proponents call the “most significant wildlife conservation bill in half a century.” This bill, which is sponsored by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, and Roy […]

Why Black and Hispanic seniors are left with a less powerful flu vaccine

At Whitman-Walker Health, Dr. David Fessler and his staff administer high-dose influenza vaccine to all HIV-positive and senior patients. Although the vaccine is roughly three times as expensive as standard flu vaccine, it seems to do a better job at protecting those with weakened immune systems — a major focus […]

Legislature passes financial relief bill in special session

A bill to provide financial relief to New Mexicans quickly worked its way through the Legislature in a special session on Tuesday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called legislators into the special session largely to pass this bill. It took nearly 12 hours for lawmakers to send the legislation to her […]

Rail Runner funding removed from junior spending bill

The Rail Runner will not be receiving $1 million to temporarily reduce fares to riders. A proposal to provide the money to the public transit organization was removed from the “junior” spending bill on Tuesday during the Senate Finance Committee and a later attempt by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, I-Albuquerque, to […]

Lawsuit alleges inmates at a state-run prison were terrorized, sexually humiliated and treated with violence

A group of 14 men transported to the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility in Valencia County in 2020 allege they were terrorized, sexually humiliated and forced to endure violence. The former inmates are suing former CNMCF assistant warden Joe Lytle and eight other corrections officers who were allegedly present or […]

The end of a Trump-era immigration policy potentially in jeopardy

Immigrant advocacy groups raised an alarm on Tuesday about the potential for Title 42, a Donald Trump-era policy that prohibits asylum seekers from crossing the U.S. border, to continue after May 23. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that it would end Title 42 by […]

Judge orders state to allow cannabis producer to sell some products after reports of mold

A legal battle has emerged between a New Mexico cannabis business and the agency tasked with regulating cannabis production and sales after state regulators reportedly found mold in some of the company’s products.  The day before legal adult-use cannabis sales began, cannabis producer Sacred Garden filed a request for a […]

When oil and gas wells stop producing, environmental impacts remain

Throughout New Mexico, there are thousands of oil and gas wells that have not produced in years but remain unplugged. One area with a high concentration of these sites is the Horseshoe Gallup field, located in the Hogback area west of the San Juan Generating Station in San Juan County. […]

‘Litany of broken climate promises’: New report emphasizes need to reduce emissions

Global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions need to be cut in half by 2030, according to a new Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report released on Monday. The report focused on the mitigation of climate change. It also provides pathways that could be taken and shows how decisions made today, as […]

Growing Forward: First day of adult-use sales

As expected, many cannabis dispensaries around New Mexico saw lines out the door and one company kicked off the first day of recreational-use cannabis sales at midnight. Customers in New Mexico made more than $5 million in cannabis sales, either medical- or recreational-use, during the first weekend of legal adult-use […]

As lobo genetic diversity declines, ranchers say male wolf once again killed a cow

When Bob Daugherty headed up the canyon behind his house to check on his cows, he said he was not surprised to find two of them dead and to discover they had been killed by wolves. He knew that a wolf that had allegedly killed livestock in another area was […]

First day of NM legal cannabis sales surpasses $2 million

Friday marked the first day of legal, recreational-use cannabis sales in New Mexico, nearly a year after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act.  Lujan Grisham spoke with reporters in Albuquerque at Everest Apothecary, a cannabis dispensary. She said she was “excited” to see New Mexico finally take […]

CDC announces Trump-era policy prohibiting legal border crossing to end 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday that the federal government will end the Trump-era policy that has prevented asylum seekers from entering the U.S. The policy will end May 23. The Trump administration initiated Title 42 in the first few days of the COVID-19 pandemic in […]

Recreational-use cannabis sales start at 12 am in Las Cruces

Amid music, balloons, cheering and a final countdown on the clock, Jeremy Sandoval became the first person in New Mexico to buy legal recreational-use cannabis just a few minutes after 12 a.m. Friday in Las Cruces. Sandoval, who lives in Las Cruces, said he arrived at the R. Greenleaf Organics […]

A new healthcare poll finds that a majority of New Mexicans have put off medical visits due to cost

A new poll found that one in two New Mexicans didn’t seek medical care in the past two years due to the cost. Nearly a quarter of New Mexicans said they’d experienced discomfort or pain because they could not afford the cost. Of the respondents, 36 percent said they skipped […]

Roxy’s Law goes into effect April 1, banning trapping on public lands

A new law banning trapping on public lands goes into effect Friday. Commonly known as Roxy’s Law, the Wildlife Conservation and Public Safety Act passed the state Legislature in 2021. Roxy was a cattle dog who, in 2018, died after being caught in a snare. The law prohibits using traps, […]

PRC approves community solar rule

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission unanimously approved an order on Wednesday adopting a rule for community solar. The rulemaking process began following the passage of the Community Solar Act last year, which set a deadline of April 1 for the PRC to adopt rules. Community solar allows for developers […]

State expands postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months

The New Mexico Human Services Department will expand postpartum Medicaid availability to 12 months of coverage starting Friday. The agency began efforts this past winter to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage to 12 months with a target date of April 1. The state is able to expand the coverage from two […]

Health department recommends booster shot for those who are 50+ or with certain health conditions

The New Mexico Department of Health recommends an additional COVID-19 booster for those who are over 50 years old and for immunocompromised people who are age 12 or older. The recommendation on Wednesday followed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendation earlier in the week and applies to […]

Some Southern NM cannabis producers face conundrum with testing facility locations

Cannabis companies around the state are preparing their storefronts and bolstering their crops for the start of recreational-use cannabis sales, which will start on Friday. And while a majority of storefronts are expected to be in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe metro areas, some businesses in the southern part of […]

New report looks at dairy operations in NM

New Mexico is one of the top dairy producing states and this can have environmental impacts.  A new report released by the group Mapping for Environmental Justice documented locations of 160 operations in New Mexico where cattle are kept in confined areas referred to as concentrated livestock feeding operations, or […]

What to expect on the upcoming first day of cannabis sales in New Mexico

With legal recreational-use cannabis sales scheduled to start this Friday, questions still remain as to whether the state will see a shortage of medical cannabis, and whether those possible shortages will emerge within days, weeks or months after sales begin.  While state regulators have somewhat downplayed the possibility of cannabis […]

NM cannabis regulators recall products tainted with mold

The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division announced on Friday a recall of cannabis products sold by a local medical cannabis company.  According to the announcement, products from Sacred Garden, a company that has retail locations in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Ruidoso and Santa Fe, were found to have higher than acceptable […]

Groups argue PNM will ‘overcharge’ customers by not issuing bonds when SJGS closes

Western Resource Advocates and Coalition for Clean Affordable Energy say Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) will “unlawfully over-charge its customers $125 million during the next two years.” These overcharges will come from what they describe as a delay in issuing bonds associated with the closure of the San […]

Four projects to receive money from Gold King Mine settlement

The New Mexico Office of the Natural Resources Trustee released a final restoration plan for the Animas and San Juan rivers on Thursday. This restoration plan is intended to improve water quality and economic opportunities following the 2015 Gold King Mine spill.  The office selected four projects for funding: Construction […]

BLM extends comment period for Chaco mineral withdrawal

The Bureau of Land Management announced an extension to the comment period for withdrawal of federal lands around Chaco Culture National Historical Park from mineral leasing. The comment period, initially scheduled to close April 6, will now end on May 6. Additionally, the BLM has scheduled two meetings that will […]

NM signs intergovernmental cannabis agreements with two pueblos

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday “historic” intergovernmental agreements with two pueblos that will allow the sovereign nations to take part in the state’s newly established recreational-use cannabis industry.  According to the governor’s office announcement, leaders of the Picuris and Pojoaque pueblos each signed an agreement with the state […]

As states impose abortion bans, young doctors struggle — and travel far — to learn the procedure

A barrage of abortion restrictions rippling across the country, from Florida to Texas to Idaho, is shrinking the already limited training options for U.S. medical students and residents who want to learn how to perform abortion procedures. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends standardized training on abortion care […]

The war in Ukraine has put Los Alamos National Lab’s nuclear-weapons mission in the spotlight

LOS ALAMOS — Los Alamos began as an “instant city,” springing from the Pajarito Plateau in 1943 at the dawn of the Atomic Age. More than 8,000 people flocked here to work for Los Alamos National Laboratory and related industries during the last years of World War II. Now the […]

Advocates call for end to Trump-era policy that prevents asylum seekers from crossing border

Monday marked the two-year anniversary of a policy by former President Donald Trump aimed to prevent asylum seekers from crossing the border during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some migrant advocates marked the anniversary by calling for President Joe Biden to end the policy. New Mexico Dream Team Co-Director Felipe Rodriguez told […]

Growing Forward launches fourth season

Growing Forward, the collaborative cannabis podcast between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, launched its fourth season on Tuesday.  With the first legal adult-use sales slated to begin on April 1, Growing Forward checked in with Kristen Thomson, the state’s Cannabis Control Division director, about a failed cannabis bill […]

End of moratorium on evictions could lead to crisis, say family advocates

With the New Mexico Supreme Court’s pandemic-era inspired moratorium on evictions about to end, the court announced it will phase-in a statewide program to help tenants access money starting in April. But family advocates have said that approximately 80,000 renter households are at risk in the state for eviction. Divya […]

Environmental Protection Division director to retire at end of month

The New Mexico Environment Department’s Environmental Protection Division director announced on Monday that she will be retiring, effective at the end of the month. Sandra Ely has led the division for three years and has worked for NMED in various capacities since 1994, with a short break from 2015 until […]

New report looks at water quality 50 years after the Clean Water Act passed

Half a century after the Clean Water Act became law, the United States is still far from the goal of having all of its waters clean enough that people can fish and swim in them. A new report released by the Environmental Integrity Project found that half of the rivers […]

New government report details reportedly unsafe and unsanitary conditions at Torrance County Detention Facility

The federal Department of Homeland Security and the Office of Inspector General issued an alert this week to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to recommend that all individuals housed at the Torrance County Detention Facility be relocated due to reportedly unsanitary and unsafe conditions. The 19-page report issued on […]

Special session for economic relief coming in April

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced an upcoming special session beginning on April 5 after an agreement with legislative leaders. At issue is a “junior” spending bill, which Lujan Grisham pocket vetoed. The governor said legislators would bring up a “revised” spending bill. She also indicated that she will ask the […]

EMNRD officials say eminent domain will not be part of 30×30

Amid criticisms that an initiative to conserve 30 percent of the lands and watersheds in New Mexico by 2030 is a land grab, officials from the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department told San Juan County lawmakers that eminent domain will not be used. Eminent domain is a tool that […]

Congress announces investigation into Otero County election canvass

Congressional Democrats announced on Thursday that they have launched an investigation into an election “canvass” taking place in a southern New Mexico county, saying it is run by “conspiracy theorists” who believe the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was invalid. The effort in Otero County, which has been called […]

Study: New Mexico has among highest rates for parental deaths due to COVID-19

New Mexico ranks as one of the states with the highest rates for parental deaths caused by the disease, with 341 children per 100,000 who have lost a caregiver due to COVID-19, according to a study  A group called the Covid Collaborative, made up of experts in health and other […]

PNM contracts for helicopter flights to inspect infrastructure for wildfire mitigation

The state’s largest electric utility entered a contract with a company to perform aerial surveys of transmission and distribution systems as part of a wildfire mitigation effort. This comes after several large, catastrophic wildfires in the western United States have been linked to electric utility infrastructure. Public Service Company of […]

Pandemic medical innovations leave behind people with disabilities

Divya Goel, a 35-year-old deaf-blind woman in Orlando, Florida, has had two telemedicine doctors’ appointments during the pandemic. Each time, she was denied an interpreter. Her doctors told her she would have to get insurance to pay for an interpreter, which is incorrect: Under federal law, it is the physician’s […]

Arizona regulators ask NM PRC to join discussions about coal-impacted communities

Arizona regulators have asked the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission for input during policy discussions about coal-impacted communities, PRC Utility Division Director John Reynolds told commissioners during a Tuesday meeting. Arizona utilities, including Arizona Public Service Company and Tucson Electric Power, have received power from coal-fired generating stations in northwest […]

Unanswered questions over hospital debt despite policy changes

When Adriann Barboa’s 14-year-old daughter, Amarisa, needed surgery after contracting appendicitis eight years ago, Barboa wasn’t too concerned about the cost. She had a good job by New Mexico standards, and she had health insurance. So after Presbyterian Hospital rescheduled Amarisa’s surgery for the following morning and suggested that the […]

Study finds flaring can impact the health of people 60 miles away

A new paper looking at the health impacts of flaring in the Bakken area of North Dakota found that people 60 miles away can experience respiratory distress because of flaring. The impacts have significant economic effects that should be considered in regulatory policy, the researchers said. The lead author, Wesley […]

Texas sues to prevent losing federal funds over its investigations of trans children’s families

Texas is worried it could lose over a billion dollars in federal funding over Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive requiring medical professionals to report transgender children receiving gender-affirming health care as potential child abuse. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton amended an existing lawsuit suing the Biden administration Wednesday, attempting to void […]

Guv signs omnibus crime bill 

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an  omnibus crime bill into law on Wednesday, which officials say will reduce crime. Lujan Grisham, a Democrat seeking reelection in November, pushed a “tough on crime” agenda during the 2022 Legislative session. Lawmakers rolled several crime bills into one to create the omnibus bill, […]

San Juan is one of five phase three CarbonSAFE projects, but questions of viability remain

The United States will need to inject about a billion metric tons of carbon dioxide annually into underground reservoirs by 2050 to meet the zero emissions goals, according to Darin Damiani, carbon storage program manager for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Fuels and Carbon Management. He said […]

Upcoming short film highlights importance of Chaco

Archaeology Southwest plans to release a short film later this month to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Greater Chaco landscape. This video comes as the federal Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments regarding the withdrawal of federal lands around Chaco Culture National Historical Park from […]

NM Supreme Court rules citizen grand juries on state emergency orders are invalid

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a handful of citizen-initiated grand jury petitions filed against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in response to her public emergency orders are “facially invalid.”  In the order directing several lower courts to dismiss the citizen-initiated grand jury petitions, Chief Justice Michael Vigil […]

A small Texas-based group urges New Mexico counties to oppose 30×30

It didn’t take long for a small group founded by the daughter of a couple involved in the 1990s Sagebrush Rebellion to mobilize after President Joe Biden released an executive order in January 2021 that called for conserving 30 percent of the country’s lands and water by 2030. Since then, […]

U.S. Supreme Court in ruling against abortion access in Kentucky could lead to bigger repercussions, say legal experts

A U.S. Supreme Court decision this week on an abortion issue has larger repercussions for constitutional rights, advocates say. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled in favor of allowing Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to readdress a Kentucky abortion ban already resolved under Democrat Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s […]

Indigenous New Mexicans speak to Congress about missing and murdered Native women

Two New Mexico Native women spoke before a U.S. Congress subcommittee on Thursday about the problems that contribute to the high numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women and relatives. Angel Charley, of the Laguna Pueblo and executive director of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women, testified before […]

Luján makes return to U.S. Senate

Thursday morning, during a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee hearing, committee chair Senator Maria Cantwell stopped mid-sentence when she saw someone walk into the room. U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, wearing a black face mask, made his return to the U.S. Senate, weeks after suffering a stroke. Members and […]

AG, SOS issue warning over Otero County ‘vigilante audit’

The state’s top elections official and top lawyer issued a warning over an election “audit” taking place in Otero County, telling residents they are under no obligation to participate in the audit or provide any information. Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, in a call with media members on Wednesday, […]

Russia/Ukraine war puts pressure on governments for more wind, solar

In recent years, New Mexico has tried to move away from its historical role as an oil and gas hub, and the crisis in Ukraine could have major implications. Russia’s invasion of its neighboring country has caused oil prices to surge. Reilly White, associate professor of finance at the University of New […]

Oil boom feeds NM budget, but environmental agencies left wanting

A boom in the oil and gas industry helped deliver a record-breaking $8.5 billion budget to New Mexico this year. Despite the windfall, lawmakers declined to give needed funds to the agencies responsible for regulating the increased pollution that such booms create. The state’s two primary environmental agencies, the New Mexico […]

NM Supreme Court rules non-navigable water rule is unconstitutional

The New Mexico Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Tuesday in favor of recreation groups who sued over access to waterways running through private property. In 2020, a trio of groups including Adobe Whitewater Club, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the New Mexico Wildlife Federation challenged the New Mexico Game Commission’s […]

Women’s Health Protection Act stalls in U.S. Senate

The Women’s Health Protection Act did not advance in the U.S. Senate on Monday. The bill would have protected the legal right to an abortion by federal statute. According to national media, Senate Republicans, who widely oppose abortion rights, were expected to filibuster the bill. An effort to end discussion […]

IPCC report leads to calls for passage of Build Back Better Act

In light of the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was released Monday, advocacy groups say Congress needs to pass the Build Back Better Act to address emissions. Representatives from several organizations including National Wildlife Federation, Third Way, BlueGreen Alliance, Clean Air Task Force, Data for […]

Governor signs MMIWR bills

Geraldine Toya has two reasons to be hopeful.  First, she’s in the process of requesting that the Albuquerque Police Department reopen the case involving her daughter Shawna’s death. “I feel relief that something is getting done, you know; we’re wanting to still look for justice, answers,” she  said. Second, Toya […]

With limited funding, New Mexico sexual assault programming looks ahead 

With federal funding cuts expected by the next fiscal year, New Mexico sexual assault programming is considering how the shortage could impact the future. The New Mexico Crime Victims Reparation Commission receives $4 million in recurring funding from the state to provide money to local sexual assault services. This year, […]

BLM director: Comments on Chaco buffer are ‘just the beginning of the process’

When it comes to protecting the Greater Chaco region, the answers are not always simple, as demonstrated by the ongoing public comment period regarding withdrawing federal lands around Chaco Culture National Historical Park from mineral leasing for two decades. The oil-rich section of the San Juan Basin has been at […]

New Mexico joins three other states in effort to create a hydrogen hub

New Mexico is teaming up with three other western states in an attempt to attract federal investment in the form of a hydrogen hub. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, colloquially referred to as the bipartisan infrastructure package, included $8 billion for the development of four hydrogen hubs. A new […]

PRC says PNM has the authority to continue operations of San Juan Generating Station

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has agreed that Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) can continue operating unit four of the San Juan Generating Station after July 1 in an effort to prevent power shortages during the summer peak. The PRC unanimously approved an order on Wednesday that […]

NM Supreme Court tosses cannabis tax case

The New Mexico Supreme Court effectively ended a years-long legal battle over medical cannabis and taxes.  In an order filed on Wednesday morning, the court wrote that a previous decision from the New Mexico Court of Appeals that medical cannabis was exempt from gross receipts taxes prior to June 2021 […]

Lobbyist accuses Dem senator of sexual harassment, calls for his removal

A New Mexico lobbyist and policy advocate in an open letter issued on Tuesday accused a Democratic state senator of sexual assault and harassment and has called for him to resign from the Legislature.  Marianna Anaya, who lobbied during the 2022 legislative session, including for a voting coalition made up […]

‘A matter of life and death.’ New poll shows concern about environment among Latino voters

The majority of Latino voters in the western United States are concerned about climate change, access to public lands and other environment-related topics, according to the 12th annual Conservation in the West Poll. Colorado College’s State of the Rockies Project released the results of the poll last week and a […]

Congressional bill would increase prepartum and postpartum Medicaid coverage 

A bill before the U.S. House of Representatives would increase the rates of federal government reimbursement for Medicaid coverage for women during both prepartum and postpartum care. U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, a Democrat representing New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, is a cosponsor on the bill and introduced the legislation in […]

Legislative session sees few wins for environment, energy bills

While a variety of energy and environment bills were introduced during the Legislative session, few managed to make it to the governor’s desk. The Green Amendment, which would have allowed voters to decide if the state’s Constitution’s Bill of Rights should be amended to include environmental rights, was tabled in […]

Funding for sexual assault programs passes during legislative session

With relatively few reproductive healthcare bills before the 2022 legislative session, only one made it through intact. HB 32, sponsored by state Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, which eliminates gross receipts tax, sometimes referred to as a sales tax, on feminine hygiene products, was grafted into HB 2, the general appropriation […]

What passed, what failed in the legislative session

Here’s what happened with notable legislation during the 30-day session that ended Thursday. Budget: Lawmakers got the job done with about a day to spare. They approved a nearly $8.5 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2023 — a 14 percent increase over the current fiscal year, with raises for […]

What the failed cannabis clean up bill means

Largely overshadowed by legislation addressing crime and voting rights during this year’s 30-day Legislative session, a cannabis law clean-up bill failed to make its way to the governor’s desk.  SB 100, sponsored by Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, would have made a series of changes to the Cannabis Regulation Act, which […]

Series of bombshells at the end of Legislature’s 30-day session

This year’s 30-day legislative session ended with a surprise. Or, more accurately, a series of bombshells. As the Legislature concluded its business at noon Thursday, House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe — considered a key architect of the Democratic Party’s progressive wing and one of its most influential players — announced he is […]

Senate Republicans kill omnibus voting rights bill in final hours of session

The omnibus voting rights bill, SB 144, which would have expanded voting rights to many formerly disenfranchised and given protections to election workers passed the House in the final hours of the legislature but the bill ultimately failed after a filibuster by Senate Republicans . After a nearly 24-hour House […]

Governor announces immediate end to mask mandate

In her post-session press conference, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico would no longer have an indoor mask mandate in public settings, effective immediately. Lujan Grisham spoke while flanked by Lt. Gov. Howie Morales and Democratic leaders from both the House and Senate following the end of the […]

PNM asks to continue San Juan Generating Station operations through September

Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) plans to continue operations of unit four of the San Juan Generating Station through Sept. 30 to avoid power shortages this summer. The state’s largest utility announced its plans on Thursday and is seeking approval from the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission. In […]

Omnibus crime bill heads to governor’s desk

Midway through Rep. Meredith Dixon’s introduction to an omnibus crime bill put together by the Senate, Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, stopped her. At 4 a.m., he explained, the server for the legislative webcasts resets every morning and they would stand in place while that took place. […]

House deadlocks on Clean Fuel Standard Act, which fails on tie vote

With the clock ticking down to the end of the Legislative session, the House of Representatives rejected a bill on a tie vote during the early morning hours on Thursday aimed at reducing the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. The House voted 33-33 for the Clean Fuel Standard Act following […]

House, Senate resolve budget disputes; nearly $8.5B plan moves to governor

After an eleventh-hour dispute between the House and Senate, New Mexico’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 — the largest on record — is back on track. A conference committee made up of three members from each chamber brokered a compromise over spending disagreements during a Wednesday morning meeting that […]

Senate considers crime package

The state Senate late Wednesday debated a sweeping crime bill that includes stiffer penalties for violent offenders and recruitment and retention stipends for police officers — all part of a larger effort to combat a wave of lawlessness that has been plaguing New Mexico. The push to aggressively fight a […]

Federal judge: Cowboys for Trump must disclose donors

A Donald Trump-supporting political group run by a controversial New Mexico county commissioner must disclose its donors, a federal appeals court judge ruled Tuesday, affirming a lower court’s previous decision. The judge ruled in a case where Cowboys for Trump challenged the constitutionality of New Mexico’s Campaign Reporting Act, after […]

House votes no on state budget amendments adopted by Senate

As the clock on the legislative session continued winding down to the noon Thursday deadline, a battle over New Mexico’s proposed $8.48 billion budget blew up. The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted against a motion to concur with amendments adopted by the Senate. “I urge the body to vote […]

Acequia Association, state water office hope to see changes to cannabis clean-up bill in the final hours of legislative session

After nearly an hour-long debate Monday night about water rights and cannabis, the New Mexico Senate removed a water right verification provision from what has been presented as a cannabis law clean-up bill. Even with compromise language regarding legal water access added on the Senate floor, one water advocacy group […]

House committee passes ‘comprehensive’ voting bill that includes voting rights provisions

The House Judiciary Committee passed an omnibus voting bill, SB 144, that includes provisions of two other voting bills, SB 8 and SB 6, on a party line vote of 9-3 Tuesday evening. After Senate Republicans blocked a Senate floor debate and vote on SB 8 over the weekend, House […]

Low-income energy efficiency bill passes Senate, heads to Governor’s desk

A bill intended to lower how much low-income residents pay in utility bills passed the Senate on Tuesday on a 26-14 party-line vote. HB 37, the Community Energy Efficiency Development Block Grant, would allow communities to apply for funding to help lower-income areas with energy efficiency upgrades such as weatherization […]

Teacher pay increases head to governor

Advocates calling for teacher pay raises have reason to celebrate.  The House of Representatives voted unanimously late Monday night to approve Senate Bill 1, which would increase the minimum pay at each level of the state’s three-tiered teacher licensing system by $10,000. The measure is one strategy aimed at addressing […]

Senate passes cannabis law changes, adds new water rights language

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill late Monday night that aims to clean up language of the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act, increase production limits for small cannabis companies and allow those smaller companies to wholesale cannabis to and from other cannabis businesses.  The most significant changes SB 100 proposes […]

Joint Senate committee advances broad crime reform bill to floor

With just a few days to go before the end of this year’s legislative session, members of both the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve a broad crime reform bill — though it isn’t keeping critics from lambasting Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. But rather than […]

Controversial ‘hydrogen hub’ bill is dead

One of the most contentious bills in this year’s legislative session is dead. House Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, on Monday announced he was moving House Bill 228 — aimed to help New Mexico become a hub of clean hydrogen energy — to the “Speaker’s Table,” where it will remain […]

Bill to end life sentences without parole for youth pulled amid pushback

The so-called Second Chance bill will have no chance during this year’s legislative session. Sponsors of Senate Bill 43, which would’ve banned life without the possibility of parole as a sentencing option for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder, have pulled the proposed piece of legislation from consideration. “In the final […]

Albuquerque Democratic lawmaker booked into jail on charge of aggravated DWI

State Rep. Georgene Louis, a prominent Democrat from Albuquerque, is the latest lawmaker to face drunken-driving allegations in recent years. She was booked into the Santa Fe County jail early Monday morning on suspicion of aggravated DWI and other charges. Louis, who has been a member of the New Mexico […]

Key legislative committee endorses revised $8.4 billion spending plan

The Senate Finance Committee put its stamp of approval Sunday on an amended $8.4 billion spending plan for the state of New Mexico that includes additional funding for criminal justice initiatives, road projects and a school of public health. The overall budget proposal, which the committee advanced to the full […]

Senate committee approves cannabis law changes

The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee on Sunday moved a cannabis clean-up bill forward with a 6-3 vote.  SB 100 aims to amend the Cannabis Regulation Act by doing several things, including increasing production limits for cannabis microbusinesses from 200 to 1,000 and allowing microbusinesses to wholesale products.  During the […]

Proposal to increase pay of governor and other elected officials clears legislative committee

A proposal to give the governor and other statewide elected officials hefty raises while state employees are poised to receive average 7 percent pay increases under New Mexico’s proposed budget touched off a spirited debate Sunday at the Capitol. The Senate Finance Committee advanced Senate Bill 202 on a 7-4 […]

Republicans block debate on Voting Rights Act

Senate Republicans pulled a legislative maneuver Saturday to successfully block debate on a governor-backed bill advocates say will expand voting rights in New Mexico but opponents contend Democrats are using for political gain. The procedure, a stall tactic known as a “call of the Senate,” requires every member of the […]

Clean Future Act heads to House floor

The Clean Future Act moved out of the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee on Saturday after lengthy discussions that began the previous day. The committee voted 6-3 to pass a committee substitute for HB 6. The vote fell on party lines after Chairwoman Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque, limited the […]

Lujan Grisham gets a victory for tough-on-crime agenda

In many ways, it felt like high noon on the House floor for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Lawmakers on Friday debated one of the governor’s favored pieces of legislation — a crime reform bill that would do away with the six-year statute of limitations on second-degree murder charges. Moving the […]

Controversial hydrogen hub bill heads to House floor

A controversial bill that would help make New Mexico a center of hydrogen production as an energy source is on its way to the House floor for consideration. Members of the House Commerce and Economic Development Committee voted 7-3 to approve House Bill 228, which would create a framework for […]

Green amendment tabled in House Judiciary Committee

The “Green Amendment” failed to make it out of House Judiciary Committee on Friday. The committee voted 9-3 in favor of tabling House Joint Resolution 2, which would have allowed voters to decide whether to amend the state’s Bill of Rights to include environmental rights. This essentially means the proposal […]

Senate committee backs tax cuts supported by governor

In a bipartisan vote, a Senate committee late Thursday endorsed an omnibus tax bill that would free most seniors from New Mexico’s income tax on Social Security benefits and would reduce the gross receipts tax rate by a quarter percent. While the bill still faces other hurdles in the final […]

Senate approves bill easing access to rainy day funds

A bill that would make it easier for the Legislature to tap into rainy day funds cleared the Senate on Thursday over the objections of Republicans who accused Democrats of being fiscally irresponsible. Senate Bill 135, which passed 24-15 after an hourlong debate, changes transfers between the more restrictive Tax […]

Bill would require courts to assess ability to pay when imposing fines

A bill that would require courts to consider people’s ability to pay when imposing fines and fees and allow more ways for defendants to settle court debts has cleared the House of Representatives and is headed to the Senate for discussion. House Bill 81 would require courts to assess a […]

Voters’ Rights Provisions bill headed to Senate floor

The Senate Finance Committee passed the Voters’ Rights Provisions bill by a narrow vote of 6-5 on Thursday after a tie vote failed to strike a $20 million allocation into a state election fund. State Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, sided with Republicans to vote against the bill. This was the […]

Shooting of unbranded cattle in the Gila National Forest draws ire

The U.S. Forest Service has been dealing with the problem of unbranded cattle roaming and damaging the Gila National Forest since the 1990s, with contracts awarded on a semi-regular basis dating back to 1998 to remove the animals. But a current plan to use helicopters to shoot the cattle resulted […]

‘Second chance’ passes House committee on narrow vote

The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee passed a bill on a party line vote that would prohibit life without parole for children in New Mexico on Thursday. The members passed the bill on a 3 to 2 vote. SB 43 would end the sentencing possibility of life without parole […]

Changing qualifications for state engineer tabled in House committee

The House Agriculture, Acequias and Water Resources Committee voted 7-1 to table a bill that would have broadened the qualifications required for a person to be appointed as the state engineer. HB 83, sponsored by Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, would have expanded the qualifications to include geohydrologists, hydrologists, geologists […]

Sexual assault nurse examiner shortage impacts victims and families

When the sun comes up, a sexual assault nurse examiner could be coming home from investigating a case after getting a call in the early hours of the morning. Autumn Skinner, a Portales-based sexual assault nurse examiner, has had to drive outside of the seven-county region she serves due to […]

Senate committee passes Voters’ Rights Provisions bill, but strips it further

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass a committee substitute to the Voters’ Rights Provisions bill that strikes back end automatic voter registration. The 6-3 vote came along party lines. The Democrats voted in favor of the SB 8’s committee substitute, introduced by state Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque. The Republicans […]

Frustrations rise for some as ‘tough on crime’ measures stall

Less than a month after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham held a news conference to say she was going to push a “tough on crime” agenda in this year’s legislative session, district attorneys, Republican lawmakers and crime victims held their own gathering Wednesday to deliver a very different message.  The governor’s crime […]

Guv: Legislature’s inability to tackle crime ‘defies explanation’

A day after the mother of a teenage murder victim cried at the Capitol as lawmakers approved a bill said to be lenient on criminals, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham embarked on a public relations campaign that shifted the blame for lack of action on her “tough-on-crime” agenda to the Legislature. […]

New Mexico Senate confirms Bowie as public safety secretary

The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously confirmed the appointment of Jason Bowie, the former deputy chief of the Rio Rancho Police Department, as secretary of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. During a morning committee hearing on his confirmation, Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, said Bowie comes […]

Senate passes bill to end life without possibility of parole for juvenile offenders

The New Mexico Senate  passed SB 43, which prohibits life without the possibility of parole for a juvenile offender, along party lines with a vote of 23 to 15. Sponsored by state Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, SB 43 allows a parole board to consider granting release after 15 years […]

After failure of previous efforts, ‘baby hydrogen bill’ emerges

One day after a controversial bill to make New Mexico a hub of hydrogen activity died in the Legislature, another — deemed a “baby hydrogen bill” by its sponsor — sprung to life. But the new legislation, House Bill 228, sponsored by Rep. Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup, includes significant changes from two […]

Proposal to study public utilities failing to gain traction so far

A proposed study of publicly owned electric utilities seems to have shorted out in the Public Regulation Commission, but it might have some juice left in the Legislature. The Public Regulation Commission sent a letter late last week to legislative leaders, indicating overseeing the study should be the Legislature’s responsibility. […]

Senate committee tables bill to declare hydrogen a renewable resource

The Senate Conservation Committee tabled a bill that would amend the Renewable Energy Act to include hydrogen produced from methane gas as a renewable energy source on a 7-2 vote Tuesday. This comes as the state looks for ways to transition away from electricity produced by fossil fuels. On one […]

Hydrogen Hub Act on hold after Egolf puts it on ‘Speaker’s Table’

State Rep. Patty Lundstrom’s effort to jump-start what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and other proponents call a clean hydrogen economy might be blocked again — this time by House Speaker Brian Egolf. Egolf, a Santa Fe Democrat, announced Monday he was putting Lundstrom’s second bill calling for a Hydrogen Hub […]

ABQ cannabis sales approval process causes confusion

In about seven weeks, adult-use cannabis retail shops are expected to open for the first time in New Mexico. But local ordinances and permitting processes in the state’s most populous city are causing confusion for some that are hoping to be among those businesses that start selling non-medical cannabis on […]

Senate committee passes bill to fully fund sexual assault services

By a vote of 7-0, the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee unanimously passed SB 197, which, if passed and signed by the governor, would provide the full $5 million request for sexual assault services across the state which advocates have said is crucial. State Sen. Siah Correa Hemphill, D-Silver […]

Pretrial detention measure tabled by Senate committee

A key “tough-on-crime” initiative supported by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham hit a roadblock Monday. Members of the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee voted 5-3 to table Senate Bill 189, which would make a major change to the state’s pretrial detention process for defendants suspected of certain violent crimes. […]

Pilot project to study guaranteed basic income impacts on immigrant and mixed status families starts in March

A group of 330 undocumented and mixed status families living in 13 counties in New Mexico will participate in a pilot project starting in March that will study the impact of those families receiving a guaranteed basic income for 12 months. The families will receive $500 a month for 12 […]

Voting rights expansion clears first hurdle

The Voting Rights Provisions bill, which would expand voting rights and access in New Mexico, passed the Senate Rules Committee hearing by party line vote of 7-4 Monday morning after a contentious, nearly nine hour hearing on Friday. SB 8, sponsored by Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, would expand […]

New Mexico eligible for $2.4 million for clean up of abandoned mines

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Monday that New Mexico is eligible for approximately $2.4 million in federal funding through the abandoned mine land section of a bipartisan infrastructure package that was signed into law in November. This funding is intended to help create jobs and economic opportunities […]

New Mexico grapples with health care staffing shortage

Angela Cravens, a longtime employee in the microbiology lab at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ medical center in Albuquerque, hears about the state’s crisis-level nursing shortage nearly every day. “You read the stories,” she said. “… They need help.” Cravens wants to help. She is studying at the University of […]

Green Amendment passes House committee on second try

A House joint resolution that would allow voters to decide whether to amend the New Mexico constitution’s Bill of Rights section to include environmental rights received a do pass recommendation on Saturday from the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee. This came after it failed on a 5-5 vote […]

New Mexico Senate approves $10K increase of minimum teacher pay at each tier of licensing system

Some teachers in New Mexico can’t afford a washer or dryer. Others live with their parents to save money. A bill the state Senate unanimously approved Saturday that increases the starting salaries of public school teachers from $40,000 to $50,000 is designed to improve their quality of life and help […]

Lundstrom revives plan for hydrogen hub with new House bill

Conservation groups are unhappy with the revival of a controversial bill to make New Mexico a hub of “blue hydrogen” production. State Rep. Patty Lundstrom, D-Gallup, who introduced the initial hydrogen hub legislation, House Bill 4, has reintroduced the plan through a substitute measure, House Bill 227. Like HB 4, it […]

After long debate, lawmakers strike 16-year-olds from voting rights bill

Lawmakers spent 7½ hours Friday listening to testimony and debating a complex and controversial bill supporters say would expand voter access but opponents contend would lead to election fraud. The Senate Rules Committee approved an amendment striking a provision from Senate Bill 8 that would have allowed 16-year-olds to vote. […]

Native families hope session brings justice for missing and murdered kin

Pepita Redhair’s family hasn’t seen her since March 2020, when she left her mother’s home in Crownpoint on the Navajo Nation to visit her boyfriend in Albuquerque. Her older sister, Shelda Livingston, 41, said their mother has left Redhair’s room in Crownpoint untouched, awaiting the skateboard-loving 29-year-old’s return. She said […]

Bill would fund cybersecurity program for New Mexico schools

Public school officials say the problem is becoming almost as prevalent as bullying on the playground: cyberattacks. In early January, a ransomware attack on Finalsite, an internet software company that runs websites for thousands of public schools across the nation, led to a computer system blackout for about 5,000 schools. […]

House approves ‘transformative’ $8.47B budget

A record-high $8.47 billion budget that would boost state government spending in New Mexico by nearly 14 percent in the upcoming fiscal year passed the House on a 56-13 vote Thursday after a three-hour debate that largely focused on whether the unprecedented level of spending is sustainable. The proposed budget, […]

Senate committee approves cannabis law fix

The New Mexico Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee on Thursday approved a proposal that would make some minor changes to the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act, the law which legalized adult-use cannabis.  SB 100, which the committee approved by a 7-3 vote, would most significantly increase production limits for cannabis […]

Bill funding statewide weather station network moves forward

Weather stations in New Mexico tend to be located at airports, which leaves some rural parts of the state without good weather monitoring. That impacts agricultural producers who need weather data to apply for federal disaster relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies. House Bill 108, sponsored […]

Bill to ban spent nuclear fuel storage in New Mexico passes committee

A bill clearly aimed at blocking Holtec International from building an underground storage site for spent nuclear fuel in southeastern New Mexico is moving forward. The House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 5-4 to advance a bill that would ban the storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel […]

Clean Fuel Standards Act passes NM Senate

A bill that would require decreased carbon intensity for transportation fuels which are blended, refined or imported in New Mexico passed the state Senate on a 25-16 vote, with Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, breaking with his party to vote against the measure. Senate Bill 14, sponsored by Sen. Mimi Stewart, […]

Senate confirms appointment of public education secretary after GOP grilling

Newly confirmed Public Education Secretary Kurt Steinhaus received a firsthand lesson Wednesday on the cantankerous nature of New Mexico politics. No one questioned Steinhaus’ credentials as a longtime educator and administrator during two separate hearings on his confirmation, which the Senate ultimately passed 37-4. Rather, some Republicans zeroed in on […]

Supporters of voting rights legislation hold virtual rallies

New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver said she is optimistic the bill aiming to expand voting rights will be passed and signed during this legislative session. SB 8, sponsored by state Sen. Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, would expand voting rights in the state in a number of ways, […]

Clean Fuel Standard Act heads to Senate floor

A bill aimed at reducing emissions from motor vehicles received a do pass recommendation on Wednesday from the Senate Finance Committee on a 6-4, party-line vote. The Clean Fuel Standard Act, Senate Bill 14, now heads to the Senate floor. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, sponsored the bill. Stewart also brought the […]

Redistricting legislation gets first hearing

A proposed constitutional amendment that would remove the New Mexico Legislature from the controversial process of drawing new election districts for legislative and congressional seats wasn’t quite ready for its first vote, lawmakers decided Wednesday. Some members of the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee sought changes to House […]

Governor appoints Hamman as State Engineer

Mike Hamman, the state’s water advisor, has been appointed to fill the vacant state engineer position. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced the appointment on Wednesday. “Mike Hamman is a consummate expert in his field and a homegrown New Mexico professional widely respected across the state,” she said in a press […]

House panel advances record $8.47 billion budget bill

Lawmakers have described the budget-making process in state government as a nightmare when times are lean. But with projections of record revenues, due in part to expected growth in taxes, rebounding oil and gas markets and federal pandemic relief, one legislator likened New Mexico’s proposed spending plan for fiscal year […]

A memorial to study paid family medical leave impacts goes to House floor next 

A memorial that is part of a longer strategy to introduce a bill in next year’s legislature for paid family and medical leave passed 7-2 largely along party lines in the House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee. House Memorial 3, sponsored by state House Rep. Linda Serrato, D-Santa Fe, […]

Senate conservation committee hears update to 50 year water plan

Rolf Schmidt-Petersen said the trees tell the story. Drought, climate change and low precipitation, he noted, are leaving their mark on New Mexico’s vegetation and fragile ecosystems. “Dying trees in the watersheds and habitats,” the director of the Interstate Stream Commission told members of the Senate Conservation Committee Tuesday. “That’s the […]

Luján recovering after stroke, surgery

U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján’s office announced on Tuesday that the senator was hospitalized after suffering a stroke. He is expected to make a full recovery. The statement from Carlos Sanchez, Luján’s chief of staff, said the 49-year-old senator experienced dizziness and fatigue Thursday morning and checked himself into Christus […]

Bills to address Yazzie/Martinez court ruling advance

The House Education Committee approved a trio of bills to fund programs to help Native American students succeed in school. The three bills, sponsored by Rep. Derrick Lente, D-Sandia Pueblo, are in response to the historic 2018 Yazzie/Martinez court ruling that said New Mexico has denied several groups of students, including […]

NM eligible for $43.7 million to address orphaned wells

New Mexico is eligible for $43.7 million in federal funding to pay for cleaning up orphaned oil and natural gas wells. The U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Monday that $1.5 billion of funding is available to states that sent in notices of intent to apply for funding made […]

‘Rust’ shooting prompts bill requiring actors to take gun safety training

Actors and other personnel who handle firearms on film sets in New Mexico would be required to take a gun safety course from the state Department of Game and Fish before the cameras start rolling under a bill introduced Monday. A film production company with workers who fail to comply […]

Bill would prosecute parents for allowing kids access to guns

The August shooting death of an Albuquerque 13-year-old by one of his schoolmates has prompted a bill before the Legislature aimed at holding gun owners accountable if their weapons fall into the hands of children.  The Bennie Hargrove Gun Safety Act, named after the student killed in the shooting at […]

Three crime-related bills make it through committee

The House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee on Saturday approved three crime-reduction bills aimed in part at bolstering penalties, protecting judges and expanding access to grants. Crime has been a key focus this session; Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham earlier unveiled a series of proposals aimed at fighting it. Legislators in both parties […]

New Mexico governor runs into tough start at session

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is off to a tough start two weeks into the 30-day legislative session. Her signature piece of legislation — a bill to turn New Mexico into a hub of hydrogen production — stalled in a House committee Thursday after a six-hour virtual hearing that drew hundreds of people, the […]

Senate Judiciary committee hears crime presentation

Incarcerating more people won’t cut down on the state’s rising rate of violent crime, a longtime New Mexico trial lawyer told legislators looking for a solution.  Randi McGinn of Albuquerque, who has worked as both a prosecuting attorney and public defender for over 40 years, spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee on […]

Congresswoman visits dairy contaminated by PFAS

Looking at the cows at Highland Dairy, U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez said there’s no visible sign that anything is wrong with them.  That’s part of what she called the “insidious nature” of PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to cancers and low-birth weights. Leger Fernandez visited the eastern New […]

Bill to end life in prison without parole for juveniles clears committee

The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee, with some members absent, voted 5-to-1 to pass SB 43, which would eliminate the possibility of a child being sentenced to life in prison without parole. Republican state Sen. Gregg Schemedes of Tijeras voted against the bill. State Sens. Jacob Candelaria, I-Albuquerque, David […]

Hydrogen Hub Development Act tabled in first committee

The Hydrogen Hub Development Act was tabled on Thursday by a 6-4 vote during its first committee hearing after about six hours of discussion. The bill, which is backed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, would create tax incentives for hydrogen projects in New Mexico as well as laying the groundwork […]

Proposed fund aims at move away from fossil fuel dependency

New Mexico’s economy is tightly tied to the oil and gas industries and state Sen. George Muñoz, D-Gallup, says that has to stop. “New Mexico has always ridden the roller coaster of oil and gas,” he said. Last week, Munoz introduced SB 122, which would create an economic diversification and climate […]

Health officials warn of nursing shortage

Nursing and hospital leaders repeatedly used the word “crisis” Thursday to describe New Mexico’s shortage of nurses. They spoke to the Senate Finance Committee to request additional money to train more nurses and expand nursing faculty positions at the state’s colleges and universities to accommodate more students. A University of […]

Governor appoints first infrastructure director

Bianca Ortiz-Wertheim, who has served as secretary of the state Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management since May 2020, is stepping into a new role. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Thursday she tapped Ortiz-Wertheim to serve in the newly created position of director of infrastructure and implementation. “Bianca has […]

Focus turns to rural water projects

In the eyes of some lawmakers, rural New Mexico often is neglected by state government and the big-city politicians who rule the Roundhouse. A push to address the state’s myriad water infrastructure needs — part of a larger effort to prepare for the effects of a warming climate — could […]

Early Childhood Education and Care Department details fiscal plan and hopes for next four years

The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department released its first four-year fiscal plan, detailing what the department needs in order to deliver high-quality early childhood education and services. The ECECD held a virtual press conference on Wednesday to detail the new plan. Some of the highlights include increasing […]

Report shows low voter confidence for national election results, but more confidence in state and county elections

A new report from the University of New Mexico’s Department of Political Science indicates that voter confidence is higher in state and county elections while voters are more polarized in national elections. This and other findings were discussed during a virtual press conference on 2020 voting information. New Mexico Secretary […]

Bill to increase teacher pay in New Mexico clears first hurdle

As a first-year teacher in New Mexico earning $32,000 annually before taxes and deductions, Whitney Holland lived in a tiny apartment with a roommate and worked a second job as a nanny on weekends to make ends meet. “It was really, really hard,” said Holland, now president of the American […]

Despite efforts, NM’s Rio Grande water debt grows

New Mexico now owes 125,000 to 130,000 acre feet of water to Texas under the Rio Grande Compact, according to Interstate Stream Commission Director Rolf Schmidt-Peterson.  Despite the efforts to increase water deliveries to Elephant Butte Reservoir in 2021, the state still fell short by 31,000 acre-feet, he said on […]

NM Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in medical cannabis tax case

The New Mexico Supreme Court this week scheduled oral arguments for a case regarding medical cannabis sales and gross receipts taxes.  Lawyers for the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and two medical cannabis businesses will have an opportunity to make their respective arguments on Feb. 28 as to whether or […]

Advocates hopeful voting rights legislation will help break down barriers for the formerly incarcerated

Justin Allen, a community organizer, was eligible to vote in 2017 but he could not register until his third try, he said. And even at the third try, he required help from another organizer to convince the county clerk to allow him to register. Allen’s story is not unique, he […]

Legislators seek to remove statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases

Another try at lifting the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases sits in limbo in the Legislature. A bill introduced by Sen. Katy Duhigg, D-Albuquerque, would remove restrictions on how long a victim of such abuse has to file a civil lawsuit. Many experts say statutes that narrowly […]

Hydrogen Hub Development Act introduced in NM House of Representatives

Since New Mexico regulators released a discussion draft of the Hydrogen Hub Development Act in November, about a dozen companies have contacted the state about locating new hydrogen operations in various areas, according to New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney. “I think that kind of speaks volumes in terms […]

Reforestation center legislation passes first committee unanimously

With forest fires destroying millions of acres annually in the western United States, reforestation efforts are critical to help restore the landscapes and protect water resources, according to experts who spoke during the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday. The committee unanimously passed a substituted version of […]

Debate heats up over pretrial detention

Jennifer Burrill, a public defender in Santa Fe, said she represented a client in recent years who was jailed for 11 months on a charge of attempted armed robbery until his trial — when jurors acquitted him. “He’s out 11 months of his life,” she said in an interview Monday. “He […]

Forest Service seeks to protect caves in Eddy County from mineral extraction

Mining and extractive industries were banned on more than 27,000 acres of land around a fragile cave system in Eddy County for two decades, but that protection expired last year. Now the U.S. Forest Service is asking the U.S. Department of the Interior to once again remove the national forest […]

Committee advances salary proposal for lawmakers

A proposed constitutional amendment that would task the State Ethics Commission with setting the salaries for all state elected officials — from the governor to lawmakers, who are now unpaid — cleared its first committee hearing Monday. The legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 8, also would change how commission members are […]

New regional Planned Parenthood head announces expanded medication abortion care

A Planned Parenthood clinic in Albuquerque added medication abortion care to its options this month, creating a sixth clinic in New Mexico to offer some level of abortion care in the state. Adrienne Mansanares, the new president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told NM […]

State agencies, national labs team up in zero-carbon hydrogen effort

Hydrogen will be a key energy source in meeting the state’s goals of net zero by 2050 and at least 45 percent reduction from 2005 levels by 2030, according to New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney. Kenney spoke to NM Political Report after his agency, as well as the […]

New Mexico educators demand changes in classrooms

About 500 teachers and education activists marched Sunday outside the Roundhouse to demand better pay, smaller class sizes and better classroom results. Participants carried placards that read “Teachers Need Good Pay to Stay” and “No Teachers No Future” at the noon rally, organized by the American Federation of Teachers New […]

Teaching profession faces a crossroads: Will more pay result in more stability?

Joshua Acuña sees his chosen profession — education — as a calling. He says he’s not in it for the economic reward, but the 30-year-old is making less than $20,000 as a full-time educational assistant at Santa Fe Public Schools, even after more than a decade in the field. Acuña went […]

New data shows massive climate-warming leaks by New Mexico oil and gas operators

In New Mexico, new state rules sparked a dramatic increase in reported incidents of vented and flared natural gas in 2021 — and reveal that the oil and gas industry has been losing vastly more of the climate-change-driving fossil fuel than previously reported. “The state’s updated reporting requirements were long overdue,” […]

Study: New Mexico public defenders office need 67% more lawyers to be ‘effective’

The state agency that provides legal representation for indigent defendants is drastically understaffed, according to a recently released study which says the Law Offices of the Public Defender needs 67 percent more lawyers that it has to provide “reasonably effective assistance of counsel” as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. That’s […]

Bill would require state departments to help those who don’t speak English

Advocates for New Mexicans who know little to no English say a bill passed by a committee Friday is needed help such residents access medical aid, child welfare services and other resources. Lawmakers on the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs committee approved House Bill 22 on a 6-3 vote. […]

Republicans file lawsuit over congressional redistricting

The Republican Party of New Mexico and six other plaintiffs filed a lawsuit Friday in the 5th Judicial District Court alleging a new map of the state’s three congressional districts, approved last month by the heavily Democratic Legislature, is “a political gerrymander” that weakens the voting power of residents in […]

Ethics watchdog issues report on payday loan industry lobbying

It has become a cycle of despair for low-income residents with poor credit scores: They take out a high-interest installment loan to tide them over in tough times and soon accumulate an unmanageable load. They pay off old debt with new loans at rates of up 175 percent. For years, […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham gives OK for legislature to make some cannabis law changes

In addition to high-profile efforts to improve public safety and education, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called on lawmakers to address cannabis during the 30-day legislative session.  Lujan Grisham issued a message on Thursday afternoon, authorizing lawmakers to add changes to the Cannabis Regulation Act to the legislative agenda.  The […]

Effort to eliminate Social Security tax gains momentum

The push to eliminate New Mexico’s income tax on Social Security benefits is gaining traction at the Roundhouse. Two senators, Democrat Michael Padilla of Albuquerque and Republican David Gallegos of Eunice, introduced separate bills Thursday that would eliminate the tax on Social Security income. Sen. Bill Tallman, D-Albuquerque, previously introduced […]

2021 Kids Count Data Book indicates positives but also continued challenges

The advocacy group New Mexico Voices for Children released the 2021 Kids Count Data Book on Wednesday and said that, according to the data, New Mexico saw 20,000 additional children enrolled in Medicaid in 2021. Emily Wildau, the New Mexico Kids Count Data Book coordinator, said that data was one […]

Senate adopts rules for legislative session amid mask debate

Lawmakers gathered in Santa Fe for a 30-day legislative session meant to deal with budget and tax issues are supposed to be fighting on New Mexicans’ behalf. But on the second day of the session Wednesday, members of the state Senate continued to fight over face masks. The Senate eventually […]

Dow seeks ban on teaching critical race theory in schools

By Robert NottThe Santa Fe New Mexican A leading Republican lawmaker and gubernatorial hopeful has introduced a bill to prohibit the state from including critical race theory — a controversial and often-misunderstood concept that is seen by some as a potential electoral wedge issue — in New Mexico’s school curriculum.  […]

LFC report fleshes out crime surge

Lawmakers looking to push through an array of “tough on crime” bills got some legislative ammunition to support their cause this week. The Legislative Finance Committee released a memo to Rep. Patti Lundstrom,  chair of the committee, saying violent crime rates are going up, and not just in Albuquerque.  The memo […]

In State of the State, governor asks legislators to think big

Saying the state has “unimaginable financial resources” at its disposal, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham challenged lawmakers Tuesday to think big and be aggressive on New Mexicans’ behalf during the 30-day legislative session. “Dating back decades, a timid mindset has afflicted people in this Capitol building, a pessimism that can be […]

First day of session marked by demonstrations, protests

There were sure signs a sense of normalcy had returned to the state Capitol: Protests and demonstrations. As the 2022 legislative session got underway Tuesday in a Roundhouse open to visitors who provided proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 — including a booster — activists gathered both inside and outside […]

Republicans react to governor’s State of the State address

State Rep. Jim Townsend, the House minority leader, said for a second he thought the governor “almost became a Republican.” In a news conference Tuesday at the Roundhouse after Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State of the State address, the Artesia Republican said the most “heartening” part of her 25-minute speech was the […]

The governor’s 2022 State of the State, annotated

Once again, NM Political Report joined New Mexico PBS and other news outlets in annotating Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s State of the State speech (as prepared for delivery). Our reporter Andy Lyman joined journalists from other outlets in the state to provide context and fact check comments made by the […]

WATCH: The 2022 State of the State Address

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered her annual State of the State address on Tuesday. Because of the recent increase in COVID-19 cases, Lujan Grisham delivered the address remotely from her office. The video of the address is available below, courtesy of New Mexico PBS.

Legislative session to start amid COVID surge

If you plan to attend this year’s 30-day legislative session at the state Capitol, here’s a piece of advice: Don’t forget a mask or proof of vaccination and a booster shot. The Roundhouse will be open to the public when the Legislature convenes Tuesday, but with safeguards designed to prevent the […]

Green amendment once again goes before legislature

Several Democratic state legislators are looking to amend the New Mexico Constitution to guarantee future generations the right to a clean environment.  Sen. Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Joanne Ferrary, D-Las Cruces, are the lead sponsors on a joint resolution that nearly two dozen of their colleagues have already […]

Free college tuition proposal could get a second chance

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s plan to offer free tuition to all New Mexico residents attending in-state colleges might get a second chance. A new proposal backed by two Democratic lawmakers and the state Higher Education Department would cover tuition for up to 35,000 eligible students — regardless of their income […]

NM cannabis regulators temporarily increase production limits in an attempt to avoid shortages

With a little more than two months before recreational-use cannabis sales are expected to start, the New Mexico Cannabis Control Division issued an emergency rule change that doubles plant limits for cultivators.  The emergency rule change, which went into effect last Thursday, increases the maximum amount of mature cannabis plants […]

2022 Legislative session preview

Budget? What budget? Though 30-day sessions are specifically designed for lawmakers to create and approve a financial blueprint for the next fiscal year, the state’s growing crime problem, public education woes and continuing efforts to battle the pandemic likely will take center stage when the New Mexico Legislature goes into […]

NMED pushes for funding for climate bureau

Sandra Ely, director of the New Mexico Environment Department’s Environmental Protection Division, says this is a “decisive decade” in terms of climate change. Ely is one of the “key architects” of a proposed climate bureau within NMED, according to Secretary James Kenney. Ely and Kenney spoke to NM Political Report […]

State senator seeks funding for Dryland Resiliency Center

New Mexico is in an ideal location for research into dryland resiliency, including best irrigation methods and drought-tolerant crop varieties, according to state Sen. William Soules, D-Las Cruces, who has sponsored legislation to fund a dryland resiliency center. The legislative session starts Tuesday and the funding for the dryland resiliency […]

Legislation aims to limit executive emergency powers

Thirty-day legislative sessions in New Mexico are typically reserved for budget issues, along with any special issues the governor asks lawmakers to consider. This year, besides the budget, legislators are expected to debate and vote on bills regarding public safety and education. But two lawmakers are hoping that at least […]

Stansbury speaks in support of renewing the federal Child Tax Credit

U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury called renewing the federal Child Tax Credit an equity issue during a press conference on Thursday. The federal Child Tax Credit, which provided $3,000 per child between ages 6 and 17 and $3,600 per child under 6 the last six months of 2021, was a measure […]

Poll shows Hispanic families hit hard by pandemic

A poll of 1,000 New Mexico Hispanic families indicates that Hispanic families have struggled financially because of the COVID-19 pandemic. BSP Research released a statewide survey Thursday done on behalf of several organizations detailing the economic hardships those polled said they faced. Some of the key findings include that the […]

State to get COVID help from federal medical teams

New Mexico will get a boost in medical personnel from the federal government amid the ongoing COVID-19 surge. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham acknowledged that New Mexico is one of a handful of states that will receive federal medical teams. New Mexico had a large increase in cases in December, before […]

Supply chain challenges impact New Mexico utilities

Utilities across New Mexico are struggling to acquire equipment in a timely manner and major projects have been delayed amid problems with a sluggish global supply chain. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is concerned that this could impact the utilities’ ability to maintain and repair utility infrastructure and provide […]

Medicaid coverage could be extended to 12 months for postpartum care

New Mexico could expand Medicaid coverage for postpartum care from two months to a full year starting this spring. The New Mexico Human Services Department is working to have the new rules in place by April 1, Nicole Comeaux, Human Services Department Medicaid director, told NM Political Report. The federal […]

Supreme Court weighs Biden’s workplace vaccine requirements

The Supreme Court on Friday took up one of the most contentious issues of the covid-19 pandemic, hearing a series of cases challenging the Biden administration’s authority to require workers to get a covid vaccine or be tested for the virus regularly. The issue in the cases, which challenge rules […]

Pressure mounts to protect Mexican Gray Wolves

Last year, advocates for the Mexican gray wolf cheered when a judge ruled the problem of poaching was not adequately addressed in a management plan by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Those same groups now want the agency to address sustainability goals. Mary Katherine Ray, wildlife chair for the Sierra Club […]

State Supreme Court rejects constitutional challenge to Energy Transition Act

The New Mexico Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the landmark Energy Transition Act, the state law that provided utilities with the ability to refinance past investments into coal-fired power plants using low-interest bonds to facilitate closing the generating facilities. The case came to the state Supreme Court in […]

Legislators, coalition seek funding to address ‘crisis’ of sexual assault

The New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs announced its support for Affirmative Consent legislation and the need for $5 million in funding on Monday. State Rep. Liz Thomson, D-Albuquerque, is sponsoring HB 44, Affirmative Consent Policies in Schools. Alexandria Taylor, deputy director of New Mexico Sexual Assault Programs, said […]

A high-risk medical device didn’t meet federal standards. The government paid millions for more.

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: HeartWare Deadly Malfunctions, FDA Inaction and Vulnerable Patients In 2014, when the Food and Drug Administration found serious problems with a life-sustaining heart pump, its warning […]

Amber Wallin replaces James Jimenez to lead New Mexico Voices for Children

Amber Wallin has replaced James Jimenez as Executive Director of New Mexico Voices for Children, a nonprofit children’s advocacy and research organization. NMVC announced the change this week. Jimenez retired at the first of the year but will continue to serve as executive director for New Mexico Pediatric Society, a […]

State prisons outsource personal mail to inmates to Florida firm, causing concern for some

For Jessica Brown, whose husband Michael is an inmate at Northeast New Mexico Correctional Facility in Clayton, sending letters to her spouse is one of the primary ways she communicates with him. But starting Feb. 1, Jessica will have to send letters to her husband to a private corporation in […]

BLM hosts roundtable discussion about federal funding for orphaned wells

Randy Pacheco, the chief executive officer of the San Juan Basin-based A-Plus Well Service, said the state’s workforce needs to be built up to address the orphaned oil and natural gas wells that dot the landscape in many states including New Mexico.  Pacheco was one of the panelists who participated […]

Governor, SOS announce voting rights expansion package

New Mexico’s governor along with the state’s top elections official announced support for legislation that would protect and expand voting rights in the state. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver announced their backing on Thursday, less than two weeks before the start of the state’s […]

Group of legislators request study about creating government-run electric utilities

A group of 16 state legislators have asked the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to study what it would take for governments to acquire electric utilities, but PRC officials say that may not be within the regulatory agency’s authority. The PRC issued an order on Jan. 5 asking the legislators […]

Former Spaceport Authority financial officer takes on state officials in whistleblower suit

A former financial officer for the New Mexico Spaceport Authority filed a sweeping lawsuit this week against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and 20 other state officials, alleging fraud and embezzlement, along with a variety of other accusations.  Certified public accountant and former Chief Financial Officer for the Spaceport Authority Zach […]

Utilities appeal PRC decisions to the state Supreme Court

As utilities race to meet renewable energy targets set forth in the Energy Transition Act, two of the state’s investor-owned utilities have asked the New Mexico Supreme Court to review decisions the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has made in cases that they say will impact their transition. The Public […]

Crisis pregnancy centers are a public health danger, according to a report

Crisis pregnancy centers, which have proliferated in recent years, could be a public health danger to pregnant individuals, according to a recent report. A national coalition of reproductive health experts called The Alliance: State Advocates for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, produced a report in the fall of 2021 detailing […]

New Mexico landlords tried to evict nearly 200 households whose rental assistance applications were pending

In early 2021, Albuquerque’s medical clinics were so overwhelmed by the pandemic that Deidra Alldredge couldn’t book a doctor’s appointment to renew a prescription for insulin. Her diabetes got worse. She grew dizzy and nauseous, and could barely see or think straight. Unable to clock in at her job as […]

2021 Top Stories #1: NM repeals abortion ban

See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories here. New Mexico was one of very few states in 2021 to pass legislation supporting abortion rights. In a year called “hostile” by reproductive rights advocates because of the more than 100 anti-abortion laws passed in other states in 2021, the New […]

New Mexico congressional delegation seeking approval for state’s constitutional amendment

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich announced bicameral legislation last week to seek federal approval for the state’s proposed constitutional amendment that, if approved by voters, would tap an additional 1.25 percent from the Land Grant Permanent Fund. Heinrich and U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbuy, both Democrats, introduced the legislation. U.S. Senator Ben […]

2021 Top Stories #2: COVID continues

See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories, to date, here. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues throughout the country, one thing changed from 2020, when much of the world was first impacted, into 2021: Variants. Scientists kept close track of mutations made to COVID-19 and which variants were considered of concern.  […]

Growing Forward: End of the year and looking onward

It’s been nearly eight months since New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the Cannabis Regulation Act and cannabis sales are expected to start in about four more months.  Throughout this year, Growing Forward, the collaborative podcast between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, has been following the progress […]

2021 Top Stories #3: Cannabis legalized

See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories, to date, here. One of the most notable things that happened in 2021 was the legalization of recreational-use cannabis.  The use of medical cannabis has been legal in New Mexico for more than a decade, but full legalization did not become a reality […]

2021 Top Stories #4: Drought continues

See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories, to date, here. Gripped by decades-long drought, water managers in New Mexico faced tough choices this year, including ending the irrigation season early. The year’s water woes began in the winter, when below average snowpack, warm temperatures and dry soil conditions limited the […]

2021 Top Stories #5: Deb Haaland becomes Interior Secretary

See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories, to date, here. A Native American woman took the helm of the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs, for the first time ever in March after being nominated for the post by President Joe Biden. The U.S. Senate […]

2021 Top Stories: 10-6

Note: Every year, we count down the top ten stories of the year, as voted on by NM Political Report staffers. See our entire countdown of 2021 top stories, to date, here. 10. SCOTUS Supreme Court hearings  The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in early December on a Mississippi case that challenges Roe v. Wade. Dobbs v. […]

Study: Warming climate leads to more bark beetles killing trees than drought alone

A team of researchers using Los Alamos National Laboratory’s supercomputers developed a model for projecting tree kills by bark beetles as the climate warms . Looking at forests in California, the team of researchers found that western pine beetle infestations killed 30 percent more trees due to warmer temperatures than […]

NM cannabis regulators to hold hearing on packaging, ad rules

The New Mexico Cannabis Control Division will hold a public rulemaking hearing next week regarding rules and regulations for labeling and marketing cannabis products, as well as health and safety protocols for packaging edible and topical cannabis products.  The hearing will take place on Dec. 30 and the division has […]

Dairy farmers facing PFAS contamination now eligible for payment for their cattle

A dairy farmer from the Clovis area whose cattle consumed PFAS-contaminated water is now able to get paid for his livestock. Art Schaap, owner of Highland Dairy, received national attention when firefighting foam used in training exercises at the nearby Cannon Air Force Base contaminated the water his cows rely […]

Texas abortion patients flew to Albuquerque for a one-day clinic visit

A New Mexico abortion fund provider planned a coordinated effort to fly in more than 10 Texas abortion patients for one day of abortion care at an Albuquerque clinic last week. The effort is in response to Texas SB 8, which bans abortion after six weeks for people in Texas. […]

NM special session ends with approval of Senate redistricting map

New Mexico’s latest special legislative session, mostly devoted to redistricting, came to an end on Friday after the state House approved two pieces of legislation. The state Senate adjourned the night before after approving its own new district map, a House redistricting proposal and a House bill that cleaned up […]

NM judge rules patient cannabis purchase limits consistent with state law

A New Mexico state judge ruled on Thursday that medical cannabis patients cannot purchase the same amount as non-patients when recreational-use sales begin.  Second Judicial District Court Judge Benjamin Chavez, in his written ruling, dismissed a claim from a medical cannabis patient that medical cannabis patients should be afforded the […]

After heated debate over race, NM Senate approves its own redistricting map

The New Mexico state Senate approved a proposal to redraw its own districts on Thursday by a 25-13 vote. SB 2, sponsored by Sens. Linda Lopez and Daniel Ivey-Soto, both Albuquerque Democrats, would redraw the state Senate districts and also adopt a Native American consensus map that tribes and pueblos […]

Called ‘a victory’ by advocates, FDA lifts restrictions on abortion medication

The Federal Drug Administration ruled on Thursday that it would permanently lift restrictions around abortion patients receiving medication abortion by mail. This means, for instance, that abortion patients who live in places such as rural New Mexico can receive mifepristone, the first of the two-drug abortion regime, by mail. The […]

NM Senate approves House map, heads to governor’s desk

The New Mexico state Senate approved a bill that would redraw state House maps on a 24-13 vote. HB 8 is one of four proposals that would draw state political districts in the current special legislative session.  The Senate floor debate for HB 8 came just after the Senate spent […]

PRC denies PNM’s application to transfer power plant ownership to NTEC

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission Chairman Stephen Fischmann said more information is needed before the agency can approve an application from Public Service Company of New Mexico to transfer its 13 percent ownership share of the Four Corners Power Plant to Navajo Transitional Energy Company and to refinance past investments […]

Legislature sends spending bill to Governor’s desk (Updated)

Updated: The House concurred on HB 2 as amended by the state Senate by a voice vote on Thursday. This sends the legislation to the Governor’s desk for signature. HB 2 appropriates $478 million of the ARPA funds into various projects, such as road work, broadband expansion and conservation projects. […]

Bernalillo County passes ordinance banning outdoor cannabis consumption areas

The Bernalillo County Commission unanimously approved an ordinance on Tuesday that bans outdoor cannabis consumption areas in parts of the county not already governed by the City of Albuquerque.  An earlier version of the proposal would have made a distinction between medical and recreational-use cannabis consumption areas as well as […]

NM Department of Game and Fish considers stocking hybrid striped bass

Anglers in New Mexico may soon have another fish to catch in a lake near Carlsbad. The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish is considering stocking Caballo Reservoir with hybrid striped bass, also known as wipers. These bass are a mix between white bass and striped bass and grow […]

NM detects its first confirmed Omicron case

State health officials announced the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, which has been called a variant of concern by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The case of Omicron is from a female adult in Bernalillo County who reported travel to another state that […]

Senate Dems at odds with Native American governments over Senate redistricting

The New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-2 on Sunday to change a bill aimed at redrawing its own Senate districts, despite pleas from numerous Native American pueblos and tribes not to do so.  The original proposal, SB 2, adopted a Native American consensus plan that was recommended to the […]

Senate Finance Committee passes amended appropriation bill, reducing allocation to $478 million

The Senate Finance Committee approved an amended version of a bill to allocate some of the American Rescue Plan Act immediately to various agencies. The amendment to HB 2, which passed unanimously, removed $26 million appropriated for broadband and reduced the overall funding package to about $478 million. The vote […]

New congressional map heads to governor’s desk

The New Mexico state House advanced a proposal on Saturday that would redraw the state’s congressional districts to group a sizable portion of the urban Albuquerque area with rural areas in the south with a 44-24 along party lines. The map proposal now heads to the governor’s desk for approval. […]

Senate committee tables bill to appropriate $335 million in relief funds on public health

The Senate Finance Committee tabled a bill request to spend $335 million of the $1.1 billion in America Rescue Plan Act money to the state on public health issues on a 6 to 1 vote, but committee members advised the bill sponsors to bring the bill back to the regular […]

Congressional map proposal approved by NM Senate, heads to House

The New Mexico state Senate approved a proposal to redraw the state’s congressional districts by a 25-15 vote on Friday evening. All Republican members voted against the measure, with independent Sen. Jacob Candelaria of Albuquerque joining Republicans.  SB 1, sponsored by Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, and Rep. Georgene Louis, […]

U.S. Supreme Court decision on Texas abortion law impacts New Mexico abortion providers, patients and funds

In a narrow ruling that leads to a limited way forward in the fight to stop Texas SB 8, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against one lawsuit, parsed the other and denied the Biden administration’s request to put Texas SB 8 law on hold. The Supreme Court heard two separate […]

State House passes redistricting map supported by Indigenous communities

The New Mexico House of Representatives passed a bill Friday night adopting a redistricting map based on a consensus from Native American communities including Navajo Nation and the Pueblos.  House Bill 8, which passed the chamber on a 43-23 vote, draws new lines for House districts and aims to correct […]

House passes bill to appropriate $504 million in federal relief funds

An amended version of a spending bill passed both the full House and the House Appropriations and Finance Committee Friday which, if passed by the state Senate and signed by the governor, will appropriate $504 million of the $1.1 billion provided by the American Rescue Plan Act into state relief funds, […]

NM Senate committees advance two redistricting maps

Two New Mexico state Senate committees advanced two redistricting maps on Thursday, one for Congress and one for the state Senate. A New Mexico Senate bill that would redraw the state’s congressional districts inched closer to a full Senate vote on Thursday after the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill […]

Changes coming to appropriations bill after Senate Finance Committee hearing

During a two-hour Senate Finance Committee hearing on HB 2, the committee learned of issues with the bill that will likely require change to the legislation. Department of Game and Fish Director, Michael Sloane, told the committee during the hearing that the department did not request the $5 million appropriated […]

Senate committee advances alternative to ‘people’s map’

As part of New Mexico’s redistricting special legislative session, a panel on Wednesday approved a congressional map proposal that would significantly change the make-up of all three of the state’s congressional districts. The Senate Rules Committee approved the map concept along party lines, by a 7-4 vote.  SB 1, sponsored […]

State House map backed by tribal governments heads to House floor

A bill to draw new lines for state House districts statewide passed two committees on Wednesday and is now headed to the House floor. On Wednesday evening, the bill passed the House Judiciary Committee on a 7-4, party-line vote.  During the hearing, a number of representatives of sovereign nations, pueblos […]

Senate committee hears discussion on $35 million of relief act money

The state Senate Finance Committee heard from two departments that will receive one-time funds of $35 million total if HB 2 passes. The state Senate Finance Committee did not take action on HB 2, as the bill still sits in the  House Appropriations and Finance Committee which originally intended to […]

PRC rejects PNM/Avangrid merger

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission essentially denied the merger between Avangrid and Public Service Company of New Mexico on Wednesday.. The commissioners voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject the stipulated agreement, following a recommendation from the PRC hearing examiner that the potential risks to customers outweigh the benefits. “This […]

Debate, testimony over maps fills second day of session

The New Mexico House of Representatives spent much of the second day of the second 2021 special legislative session discussing the merits of proposed maps. The special session is largely focused on redrawing the state’s political boundaries for U.S congressional districts and state House and Senate districts and is expected […]

Committee discusses how to spend some of the $1.1 billion in federal aid

The House Appropriations and Finance Committee held a three-hour hearing on allocating some of the $1.1 billion in federal pandemic relief aid but will wait until Wednesday to vote on the bill. HB 2, a general appropriations bill, will enable the legislature to begin spending some of the federal American […]

NM cannabis regulators now accepting all types of business applications

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division announced on Tuesday that it would start accepting applications for all cannabis businesses. The department and its cannabis division has already been accepting applications for cultivation licenses, but in the announcement on Tuesday, the department said it is […]

Contentious House debate over bill to fund special session

After a contentious, two-hour debate over what should go into the bill to fund 2021’s second special legislative session, the House voted 65 to 1 to approve the $1.6 million package. The new House Majority Floor leader, Democratic state Rep. Javier Martinez, of Albuquerque, introduced HB 1, known as the […]

Sen. Candelaria leaves Dem party, registers as decline to state

A New Mexico state Senator and the most vocal critic, from within the party, of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, announced Monday morning that he had left the Democratic Party.  “I announce today that I’ve submitted to the Secretary of State a reregistration, changing my registration,” Candelaria said during the […]

PNM and Avangrid request oral arguments in PRC merger case

Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid have asked the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission to hear oral arguments prior to making a decision on the merger application. PNM and Avangrid joined a group of intervenors in making this request. The request states that oral arguments would allow critical […]

New Mexico’s draft plan for hydrogen a nonstarter for environmentalists

In mid-November, after months of hinting about an upcoming bill, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration sent a draft Hydrogen Hub Act out to stakeholders for their input. First reactions are not positive. “Let’s be crystal clear,” says Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, executive director of the Western Environmental Law Center, “this bill isn’t a climate […]

PRC commissioners have concerns over Avangrid/PNM merger, as companies defend

Officials from Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid say a pending merger would help the state’s largest electric utility reach renewable energy targets at a faster pace. The two companies hosted a press conference on Thursday following the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission’s discussion the previous day regarding […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham announces special session for redistricting, appropriating COVID relief funds will be next week

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham officially announced on Wednesday that she will call the state Legislature into a special session next week to approve new legislative, congressional and Public Education Commission districts. In addition to redistricting, lawmakers will also be called to appropriate federal COVID-19 relief funds.  In a […]

Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, straining fragile reproductive health care system

The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to overturn Roe v. Wade or “effectively” overturn it, legal experts said on Wednesday after the court heard oral arguments on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The much-anticipated court case, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, went before the court Wednesday for a two-hour oral […]

NM Cannabis Control Division considers requiring union agreements as part of licensure

As part of the process to set up a recreational-use cannabis industry in New Mexico, the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department and it’s Cannabis Control Division held a public rulemaking hearing on Wednesday regarding residual solvents in cannabis manufacturing and requiring employers to work with labor unions. The proposal to […]

A poll shows majority support for a paid family and medical leave insurance program

A poll taken this fall shows that New Mexican voters are in favor of a state-supported paid family and medical leave program. A group of Democratic representatives, led by state Rep. Christine Chandler of Los Alamos, have sponsored a bill to establish such a program in the last few legislative […]

Legislative committee gives state finance authority the greenlight for cannabis business loans

An interim legislative committee on Tuesday approved a state-run loan program for small cannabis businesses. The decision was approved by the New Mexico Finance Authority Oversight committee with a 9-2 vote.  The program will be overseen by the state’s finance authority and will be funded by the Economic Development Revolving […]

Interior oil and gas review met with mixed reactions

While environmental activists praise various aspects of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s newly released report on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting processes, some say the report is incomplete and fails to account for the impact fossil fuel emissions have on climate change. The department released the report […]

How the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion rights this term could affect LGBTQ+ rights

This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on anti-abortion bans that some say could have the potential to impact LGBTQ+ constitutional rights. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments earlier this month for two cases filed over Texas SB 8, which prohibits abortion at six weeks. On December […]

Emails show exchanges between plaintiffs, employees and RLD that helped lead to whistleblower suit

Next week, a New Mexico state district judge is slated to hear arguments for and against a group of state employees adding a Whistleblower Protection Act claim to an already pending lawsuit against the state’s Regulation and Licensing Department.  The initial suit, filed by four Cannabis Control Division employees, claims […]

Study: Emergency managers should plan for volcanic eruptions in the southwest

The southwest United States has thousands of volcanoes that were only active for a very short period of time and, a new analysis published in the journal Geosphere urges emergency managers to be aware of the potential for further volcanic activity. The authors of the study counted 2,229 volcanoes in […]

A small seabird found far from home in New Mexico

Mikal Deese has rehabbed more than a hundred species of birds at her non-profit rehabilitation center in Corrales, but last week she received a bird that she’d never seen before. The small black and white bird was found unable to fly on the side of a trail in Placitas and […]

Vaccines, masks required in the Roundhouse during upcoming legislative sessions

The upcoming legislative special session for redistricting and next year’s regular legislative session will be open to the public—but they must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to enter and wear masks while in the Roundhouse. That’s according to the Legislative Council Service, which announced the changes on Tuesday. “Given the […]

Haaland visits Chaco Culture National Historical Park

As the U.S. Department of the Interior begins the process of placing a 20-year moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on federal lands near Chaco Canyon, some nearby Indian allottees say that such an action would limit their ability to make a living off of their land. Meanwhile, proponents […]

2021 a challenging year for New Mexico animal shelters

The year 2021 has proved to be even more challenging than 2020 for Rover and Whiskers, animal shelters across New Mexico report. The problem all three animal shelters in Santa Fe, Albuquerque and Las Cruces were primarily dogged by in 2021 was a pet population explosion. At least two animal […]

Build Back Better Act passes U.S. House of Representatives

Legislation that includes dozens of provisions to address climate change is one step closer to the president’s desk following a near-party-line vote in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday morning. The Build Back Better Act would provide funding to support working families, increase access to home ownership and address […]

State utility regulators look toward increased adoption of electric vehicles

Utility regulators in New Mexico are preparing for increasing use of electric vehicles in the state and, while they have approved transportation electrification plans for the three investor-owned utilities in New Mexico, they say there is still more work to do. New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioner Joseph Maestas spoke about […]

ISC looks at Abiquiu Reservoir to ease storage constraints while El Vado undergoes repairs

Amid the need for reservoir repairs and the decreased water levels due to drought and climate change, the Interstate Stream Commission’s staff is looking at ways to store some of the water from El Vado Reservoir downstream in Abiquiu Reservoir. During an Interstate Stream Commission meeting on Thursday, Page Pegram, […]

NM issues first cannabis cultivation license

A New Mexico-based cannabis company announced this week that it received the first cannabis cultivation license earlier this month from the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.  In a statement from president and CEO of Mother’s Meds, Tony Martinez, the company was awarded a cannabis production license by RLD on […]

NM high court: Legislature, not governor, has authority over federal COVID-19 funds

The New Mexico Supreme Court, in a ruling from the bench, ordered Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to stop using any unspent federal COVID-19 stimulus money without approval from the state Legislature.  New Mexico Supreme Court Justice Michael Vigil, after a brief deliberation by the justices, read the ruling.  “The court […]

Three new state positions announced following passage of federal infrastructure package

On Wednesday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced three new positions focused on the federal funding that is coming to the state through the Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act that President Joe Biden signed into law this week. Leading this effort is former Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez, who will serve as […]

PRC hearing examiner recommends approval of PNM’s Four Corners shares transfer to NTEC

While environmental advocacy groups are concerned that transferring Public Service Company of New Mexico’s 13 percent ownership share in the Four Corners Power Plant to Navajo Transitional Energy Company will lead to continued or increased emissions, a hearing examiner for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission recommended last week that […]

Air quality group discusses ozone levels

Ozone levels in the Four Corners region—including New Mexico’s San Juan Basin—have been hovering just under the federal threshold of 70 parts per billion, according to data presented by Mark Sather, who works for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s region six in air monitoring and grants, during the Four Corners […]

‘A blue-collar blueprint to rebuild’: Biden signs infrastructure package

President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan infrastructure package Monday that includes funding for expanded broadband, plugging of orphaned oil and gas wells and remediating abandoned mines among other investments.. The $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been touted as the largest infrastructure investment since the New Deal. During […]

Interior begins process to end new oil and gas leasing near Chaco for 20 years

President Joe Biden’s administration took steps today to begin the process of banning new oil and gas leases within a 10 mile buffer zone of Chaco Culture National Historical Park for 20 years. Monday, the president announced a series of initiatives focused on Indigenous communities, including the Chaco Canyon buffer […]

How Mariposa Fund helps undocumented people access abortions

Medicaid covers the cost of abortion in New Mexico if the pregnant person is a legal resident. But undocumented people who reside in the state, many of whom are often vulnerable, lack Medicaid coverage to pay for abortion care, said Italia Aranda, a volunteer with Mariposa Fund. The fund helps […]

Panelists: Plans for plutonium transportation put New Mexicans at risk

Transportation of weapons-grade plutonium to and from Los Alamos National Laboratory puts New Mexicans at risk, according to panelists who presented to the interim Legislative Radioactive and Hazardous Waste Committee on Friday. Santa Fe County Commissioner Anna Hansen said the panel presentation came in response to the federal fiscal year […]

Las Cruces store owner charged with felony cannabis distribution

An owner of a CBD store and gift shop in Doña Ana County pleaded not guilty earlier this week to a fourth-degree felony charge of unauthorized cannabis sales. Jason Estrada, who is one of the owners of Speak Easy in Las Cruces, filed his not guilty plea with a state […]

Legal experts say Haitian asylum seekers held at Torrance County Detention Center not allowed due process rights

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has transported a group of Haitian asylum seekers to the Torrance County Detention Facility and are not allowing the asylum seekers their due process rights, legal immigration experts have said. In addition, the asylum seekers at the Torrance County facility could have witnessed U.S. […]

San Juan County passes ordinance requiring demolition of San Juan Generating Station

Despite opposition from the San Juan Generating Station’s majority owner, a new ordinance in San Juan County will require the power plant to be demolished once it is permanently closed. The San Juan County Commission unanimously passed an ordinance requiring the demolition and remediation of the coal-fired power plants upon […]

Bernalillo County considers indoor-only cannabis consumption areas

As soon as next month, the Bernalillo County Board of Commissioners will vote on a zoning ordinance change that specifically addresses cannabis establishments in the county. Since New Mexico’s Cannabis Regulation Act went into effect in June, municipalities and counties across the state have been crafting their own ordinances to […]

Four Democratic state Senators ask to join NM Supreme Court case over federal funding

Four more New Mexico lawmakers will likely be a part of oral arguments in a New Mexico Supreme Court case regarding whether the governor or the legislature can appropriate federal relief money.  State Senators Jerry Ortiz y Pino, George Muñoz, Joseph Cervantes and Daniel Ivey-Soto, all Democrats, filed a motion […]

Second in command at RLD leaving

After just several months serving as second in command of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, John Blair announced on Tuesday that he is leaving his position as the deputy superintendent of the department.  In addition to regulating many industries in the state, RLD most recently took on regulation […]

Language, tactics used by anti-abortion movement called misinformation

The Texas law, SB 8, that bans abortion after six weeks in that state, is called “the Texas Heartbeat Act.” But there is no heart within the pregnant person’s womb at six weeks after conception, according to health experts. At roughly six weeks, a current of electrical activity begins in […]

NM poised to get billions of dollars in funding for infrastructure

New Mexico is poised to get billions of dollars in infrastructure investments through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act that is awaiting President Joe Biden’s signature. This bipartisan infrastructure package passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday and previously cleared the U.S. Senate. During a press conference on Tuesday, […]

Mystery surrounds the last cannabis production license DOH granted

Recreational-use cannabis dispensaries in New Mexico are slated to open their doors in about five months, if not sooner. Medical cannabis dispensaries, many of which have been in operation for years, may end up feeling the brunt of an expected run on cannabis products next year, but legacy cannabis cultivators […]

Head of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains retires after 18 years at helm

Vicki Cowart, president and chief executive officer for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, was once thrown out of a business club in Caspar, Wyoming, for being a woman. It was a different time then, one in which job interviewers didn’t hesitate to ask women if they planned to have […]

The clock is ticking for new cannabis producers

As New Mexico regulators comb through applications for cannabis businesses and craft further rules and regulations, some industry hopefuls as well as industry veterans are starting to get nervous about timing.  By law, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department must start issuing cannabis production licenses by Jan. 1, 2022. […]

Push continues to prevent gravel mining on 4,200 acre area in Sandoval County

The four Democrats in New Mexico’s congressional delegation are pushing to have 4,200 acres of Bureau of Land Management land removed from mineral development, in particular gravel mining, in Sandoval County near Placitas. U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury introduced the Buffalo Tract Protection Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on […]

Heinrich, Lujan seek wild and scenic river designation for the Gila

In the face of climate change and a history of proposals to dam or divert water from the Gila River, U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, Democrats from New Mexico, have introduced legislation that would designate a section of the Gila River in New Mexico as a wild […]

Activists are hopeful that EPA proposed methane regulations will reduce emissions

Kendra Pinto, a resident of Navajo Nation, was using an infrared camera to check for emissions earlier this year when she discovered methane leaking from under the ground due to a leak at a well site. Pinto said she reported the leak and, to her knowledge, the well site was […]

Keller wins reelection; stadium bond fails

A record number of voters cast ballots in Albuquerque, and chose to reelect Tim Keller as mayor for a second term. Keller won in a three-way race with over 55 percent of the vote with 71 or 72 vote centers reporting.  Keller easily outdistanced both of his opponents, Bernalillo County […]

Hearing examiner says potential harms outweigh benefits in PNM/Avangrid merger

A hearing examiner for the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission says the harms of a proposed merger between the state’s largest electric utility and a global utility giant outweigh the benefits. Hearing Examiner Ashley Schannauer issued his recommendation that the PRC deny the merger between Public Service Company of New […]

Voters head to the polls for local elections

Voters throughout the state will go to the polls on Tuesday in local elections. The two biggest elections, in terms of voters, are those in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Both elections will feature incumbent mayors seeking a second term. In Albuquerque, incumbent Mayor Tim Keller faces two opponents, Bernalillo County […]

U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments Monday on Texas anti-abortion law

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday morning for two cases related to the Texas law that bans abortion at six-weeks of gestation. The arguments presented procedural questions about whether or not a group of providers and advocates called Whole Women’s Health Coalition and the U.S. Department of Justice […]

Lujan Grisham touts New Mexico’s climate policies at COP26

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham highlighted her administration’s steps to combat climate change by reducing emissions while talking about climate change at an international conference on Monday. Her remarks came during a Cut Methane sub-national spotlight as well as when she joined the White House national climate advisor Gina McCarthy, U.N. […]

Pecos River Basin study looks water supply under various climate change storylines

As climate change impacts water supplies across the southwest, farmers in the Pecos River Basin could face challenges.  The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation released a study on Oct. 12 looking at how climate change and agriculture will impact the Pecos River Basin under five different storylines. Reclamation’s study manager Dagmar […]

NM state regulators hear from public on proposed cannabis courier, manufacturing, retail rules

The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division heard from the public on Thursday during a public rulemaking hearing regarding cannabis couriers, retail establishments and manufacturing facilities.  The comments during the meeting varied from proposed regulations for packaging requirements, general business practices to cannabis deliveries to […]

Proposed revision to Mexican wolf plan removes population cap

Wolf advocates praised a proposed revision to the Mexican wolf management plan that removes a cap on the number of animals, but they say this change does not go far enough. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released the proposed revision on Wednesday for public comments and the notice was […]

Section 8 tenants struggle to find homes in Albuquerque

Renee Garnett is a regular at Sagebrush Church in Albuquerque, where Sunday prayers are led by a five-piece worship band and everyone gets a chance at a better life. On Oct. 9, the 51-year-old grandmother took a seat near the front of the sanctuary, her greying hair pulled back tight, […]

PRC kicks off formal community solar rulemaking process

After months of informal stakeholder meetings, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission drafted a proposed community solar rule and  opened the formal rulemaking process. The PRC unanimously approved an order kicking off the formal process during its Wednesday meeting. The rules must be in place by April 1 under the […]

EPA responds to governor’s petition regarding PFAS contamination

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency responded in a letter dated Tuesday, Oct. 26 to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s petition to list PFAS, or per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, as hazardous waste. In the letter, the EPA stated that it is moving forward with a rulemaking process that will list several of the […]

Climate Summit discussions include equitable transition away from fossil fuels

The impacts of climate change are disproportionately felt by low-income and minority communities—and those same people could be left behind as the state works to combat this crisis if equity is not placed at the center of conversations, according to panelists who spoke during the 2021 Climate Summit in Santa […]

Growing Forward: Consumption areas

While the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department is working towards finalizing rules and regulations for cannabis businesses, local governments around the state are also doing some fine-tuning of their respective zoning laws.  The state’s new Cannabis Regulation Act prohibits municipalities and counties from limiting things like the distance between […]

Poaching takes away from New Mexico residents, harms genetics

When a moose wandered into New Mexico in September, someone shot it near Bloomfield and left it to die. Ultimately, an officer from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish had to kill the bull as it was unable to be saved. Poaching is not uncommon in New Mexico […]

State crosses 5,000 COVID-19 deaths

State health officials announced on Monday that New Mexico reached 5,000 COVID-19 related deaths. The news on Monday came as the state announced 15 additional deaths related to COVID-19 on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, for a total of 5,002 COVID-19 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in March […]

Governor says goals to address climate change should be codified

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for codifying New Mexico’s goals for addressing climate change while speaking at the state’s first climate summit hosted by House Speaker Brian Egolf on Monday. During her speech, she highlighted progress that the state has made toward addressing and mitigating climate change and spoke about […]

Oklahoma anti-abortion laws could add to strain on NM clinics

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on Friday it would hear oral arguments regarding a restrictive Texas anti-abortion law on Nov. 1. But, on the same date, Oklahoma is expected to enact three highly restriction abortion laws. The laws are medically unnecessary, Adrienne Mansanares, chief experience officer of Planned Parenthood of […]

Navajo group alleges U.S. violated human rights in uranium mine licensing

With historic uranium mine sites already polluting communities, members of the Navajo Nation have been fighting for 27 years to stop a new mining initiative from starting in the Crownpoint and Church Rock areas. On Thursday, the Eastern Navajo Diné Against Uranium Mining took that fight to the Inter-American Commission […]

Conference provides fresh data on wellbeing of New Mexico children during the pandemic

New Mexico Voices for Children held its annual conference Thursday and put a special emphasis on the need to support women of color. The nonprofit, which advocates for children and family-friendly policy, provides the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Kids COUNT data book each year. The data book, which gives data […]

Snake receives critical habitat designations in Arizona, New Mexico

A small snake that eats fish has gained additional critical habitat designations in New Mexico and Arizona under the Endangered Species Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a final rule in the Federal Register this week designating 23,785 acres of critical habitat for the narrow-headed garter snake in […]

San Juan County takes steps to require power plant demolition upon closure

With less than a year left before San Juan Generating Station’s scheduled closure, San Juan County officials are concerned that the facility could become an eyesore if it is retired in place rather than immediately demolished. In the past, the plant’s majority owner, Public Service Company of New Mexico, has […]

Redistricting commission advances state House maps

On Wednesday, New Mexico’s newly formed Citizen Redistricting Committee finalized its its recommended maps for the Legislature’s consideration.  Wednesday’s meeting was solely focused on advancing three map concepts for state House Districts.  The first map the committee approved was a modified version of a map submitted by the advocacy group […]

U.S. Supreme Court ruling on qualified immunity won’t affect New Mexico

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of qualified immunity in two separate, but similar, federal cases that involved police officers who, the plaintiffs alleged, used excessive force in the two separate incidents.  But, those rulings will not impact the New Mexico Civil Rights Act, which prohibits the […]

State supreme court sets date for arguments on pandemic aid case

The New Mexico Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case over who has the authority to distribute federal pandemic aid funds in November. The case, which will have oral arguments on Nov. 17, is brought by legislators who say the governor’s veto of language that directed the use […]

New campaign with New Mexico roots pushes for wildlife management reform

A newly launched initiative seeks to reform wildlife management not only in New Mexico, but across the nation. Wildlife for All is a campaign from the Southwest Environmental Center, which is based in Las Cruces. The advocates behind the effort say the current system of managing wildlife places too much […]

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service ordered to address poaching in Mexican wolf recovery plan

Conservation advocates say they won a partial victory in a lawsuit regarding the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan. A federal district court judge ordered the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Thursday to produce a draft recovery plan. This plan must be released for public comment within six months and […]

EPA issues roadmap for addressing PFAS contamination

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a roadmap for addressing PFAS, a group of forever chemicals that have contaminated air, water and soil across the United States. “For far too long, families across America – especially those in underserved communities – have suffered from PFAS in their water, their air, […]

Commission votes to send proposed redistricting maps to Legislature

The newly formed New Mexico Citizen Redistricting Committee, tasked with presenting new political maps for the state Legislature to consider, decided on a series of maps last week, but still has more work to finish this week.  The committee approved three map concepts on Friday for congressional districts, state Senate […]

Los Alamos scientists work on technique for estimating stress in earth’s crust from oil and gas activity

A new method developed by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory could reduce the costs of determining if proposed oil and natural gas activity could lead to earthquakes and which direction fractures are likely to occur during hydraulic fracturing. A study published in Nature’s Communications Earth and Environment journal looked […]

While Texas abortion ban yo-yos in courts, one provider talks about the effects

As Texas abortion rights yo-yo in the courts, one Planned Parenthood doctor said the volume in patients coming from Texas has not changed. Last week a federal Texas judge placed a temporary injunction on SB 8, the Texas law that bans abortion at six weeks, at the U.S. Department of […]

Native groups protest fossil fuels in Washington, D.C.

Native American groups have been protesting fossil fuel production this week in Washington, D.C., in order to help shine a light on the connection between fossil fuel extraction and violence against Native women. Members of the New Mexico Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW) traveled to participate in […]

State treasurer says COVID-19 relief money should be governed by Legislature

The New Mexico state treasurer agrees that federal COVID-19 relief funds should be handled by the state Legislature and not the governor, according to a response filed on Tuesday by his attorney.  Treasurer Tim Eichenberg was named as a party of interest in a case filed last month by state […]

Commission set to vote on redistricting proposals

For the first time ever, the political redistricting process in New Mexico will start with recommendations from a citizen redistricting committee. While the final say ultimately lies with the state Legislature, the newly formed citizen committee is set to finalize their suggestions this week.  After a long series of meetings […]

Groups express concern about hydrogen hub push

Supporters of hydrogen power say it can create good-paying jobs while also providing zero-emission energy, but some environmental advocacy groups are concerned about a proposal to create a hydrogen hub in New Mexico. These advocates say the use of fossil fuels to create hydrogen could lead to further emissions from […]

EBID officials, farmers testify during virtual Texas v. New Mexico water trial

Groundwater provides an important source of irrigation for farmers in southern New Mexico, but Texas alleges that New Mexico’s use of groundwater below Elephant Butte reservoir has reduced surface water in the Rio Grande that is available for farmers downstream.  Texas filed a lawsuit in 2013 before the U.S. Supreme […]

Texas judge stays six-week gestational abortion ban

Update: The federal Fifth Court of Appeals temporarily reinstated the ban on Friday, Oct. 8. A Texas federal court judge stayed the Texas six-week gestational abortion ban this week. The law went into effect on Sept. 1 and has created chaos in Texas for abortion care patients who now must […]

Heinrich says hardrock mining reform is needed

While companies across the United States are extracting metals like gold, silver and copper, they do not pay royalties like other extractive industries. This is in part because the laws governing hardrock mining date back to 1872. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, wants to reform hardrock mining […]

McKinsey never told the FDA it was working for opioid makers while also working for the agency

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: McKinsey’s Rules When Consultants Work For Governments Since 2008, McKinsey & Company has regularly advised the Food and Drug Administration’s drug-regulation division, according to agency records. […]

Employees seek to add whistleblower complaint to existing suit against NM cannabis regulators

Four state employees who initially filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department over where they were assigned to work have asked the judge in the case to allow more claims to be added. The four plaintiffs filed a motion last week to amend their suit to […]

With 130 percent increase in Texas patients, New Mexico Planned Parenthood clinics have 21 day wait times

Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountain clinics, which includes those in New Mexico, experienced a 130 percent increase in patients coming from Texas since August. The organization held a press conference on Monday alongside elected officials from New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada to discuss how the six-week gestational abortion ban […]

More than 1,200 customers of Monterey Water Company told to boil water before use

More than 1,200 water users in Valencia County have been asked to boil their water after E. coli bacteria was discovered in a routine sample. These customers receive their water from Monterey Water Company. The New Mexico Environment Department instructed the utility to issue a boil water advisory on Oct. […]

Environmental advocates say draft ozone precursor rule should be strengthened

Environmental advocates say the ozone precursor pollutant rule developed by the New Mexico Environment Department should be strengthened, while supporters of the oil and natural gas industry say the draft rule is too restrictive and the costs of retrofitting equipment could lead to wells being plugged. Organizations on both sides […]

New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs requests $5 million in funding

During an interim committee hearing, the New Mexico Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs asked for $5 million to be added for state budget consideration in the 2022 Legislature. Alexandria Taylor, deputy director of the coalition, said the state ranks seventh in the nation in rates of sexual violence and called […]

NM Supreme Court denies stay, asks for response in relief money case

The New Mexico Supreme Court denied a request by two state senators to stop Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham from further spending federal COVID-19 relief funds. But the high court also gave the governor and the state treasurer until Oct. 15 to respond to the original petition.  Sen. Jacob Candelaria, […]

Publicly funded stadiums boost quality of life. But economy? Not so much.

Albuquerque voters will decide in November whether the city should foot the bill for a new soccer stadium. Unlike a proposal to build a downtown multi-use arena that percolated in the mid-2000s, this one could become reality.  That’s because the city has a new professional soccer team that has proven […]

Rise in New Mexico earthquakes likely triggered by oil industry

New Mexico’s oil and gas regulators and scientists are on alert after a dramatic increase in earthquake activity in southern New Mexico — an increase likely triggered by oil and gas industry injection wells in the Permian Basin. Since 2018 the number of small quakes of magnitude 1 or greater in […]

PRC concerned about supply chain impacts leading to power shortages

Global supply chain challenges may make it hard for the state’s largest utility to meet electricity demands next summer and the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is concerned that these could include unanticipated problems. These supply chain challenges were sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, which had impacts like slowing manufacturing […]

Chipmunk subspecies only found in the White Mountains could be listed as endangered

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking comments regarding listing the Peñasco least chipmunk as endangered. The Peñasco least chipmunk is a subspecies of the least chipmunk that has historically been found only in the White and Sacramento mountains of southern New Mexico. However, it has not been seen […]

BLM lease sale seeks to expand geothermal energy in New Mexico

As part of an effort to increase renewable energy, the Bureau of Land Management will hold a virtual geothermal lease sale this fall for three parcels totaling nearly 4,000 acres. These parcels are located in Hidalgo and Sierra counties in southwest New Mexico. This comes after President Joe Biden issued […]

Two New Mexicans die treating COVID-19 with ivermectin

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A veterinary drug doctors call unsafe for treating COVID-19 has caused the deaths of two people in New Mexico, according to the state’s Department of Health. “Ivermectin toxicity” is being blamed for the deaths, with doctors reminding those desperate for a cure that drugs to treat animals […]

How the Texas abortion ban is affecting New Mexico abortion providers and funds, almost four weeks in

An abortion provider in New Mexico said the increase in patients from Texas will no longer be manageable if it continues in the coming weeks. Adrienne Mansanares, chief experience officer for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, told NM Political Report that the group’s clinics are “not in crisis right […]

These single moms are forced to choose: Reveal their sexual histories or forfeit welfare

Amberly Sanchez had a job as an accountant at a real estate company in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when she was laid off due to the pandemic. Then an electrical fire destroyed her apartment building, forcing her and her 16-month-old daughter Avery to stay in a $400-a-week motel. She’d lost everything, from parenting essentials — crib, baby clothes, toy car — to her own mother’s ashes.

This spring, she applied for welfare.

Bill to protect women’s right to abortion passes U.S. House of Representatives

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Women’s Health Protection Act on Friday by 218 to 211 largely along party lines. One Texas Democrat voted against it while all Republicans voted against the bill. U.S. Representatives Melanie Stansbury of New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, and Teresa Leger Fernández New Mexico’s […]

NM congresswoman seeks apology for downwinders’ radiation exposure

The National Defense Authorization Act that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week includes an amendment introduced by U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández that would officially apologize for the radiation exposure resulting from nuclear tests the federal government conducted in states like New Mexico. The massive bill also includes […]

Fall moisture brings a ‘glimmer of hope’ to ranchers

With monsoon rain bringing drought relief to New Mexico, cattle ranchers who had to sell off stock have found a glimmer of hope, according to Eric Scholljegerdes, a range animal nutritionist with New Mexico State University.  Scholljegerdes specializes in beef cow nutrition and he conducts research at the Corona Range […]

Newly disclosed prisoner addresses show 30% in Albuquerque. Advocates want to exclude them from political maps.

While nearly a third of New Mexico’s state prisoners who disclosed where they were living prior to incarceration gave Albuquerque addresses, in the country’s once-a-decade census they’re counted as living in smaller towns and rural areas. Roughly a quarter of New Mexico’s population lives in Albuquerque, so it’s no surprise […]

New Mexico Democrats in Congress sign onto amicus brief supporting Roe v. Wade

The New Mexico Democratic Congressional delegation signed onto an amicus brief urging  the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade in the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That case will be heard December 1. But the court has traditionally made its ruling on abortion cases […]

NM-based abortion fund twice as busy as pre-pandemic

This month, New Mexico Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, an Albuquerque-based abortion fund, has helped 28 patients get an abortion, up from 15 in September 2020 when fears of COVID-19 prevented travel and 21 in September 2019. And the month of September is not yet over, Brittany Defeo, New Mexico […]

Border patrol agents criticized for treatment of Haitian migrants in Del Rio as U.S. tries to dissuade more from coming

DEL RIO 一 U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas on Monday sent a message to migrants, particularly Haitians, attempting to enter the country through the southwest border: “People coming to the United States illegally will be returned, your journey will not succeed.”

Mayorkas’ comments in Del Rio come as lawmakers and immigrants rights advocates denounced the treatment of some Haitians by Border Patrol agents. Images and videos taken by journalists and widely shared on social media show agents on horseback charging and herding migrants attempting to cross the Rio Grande, including an agent swinging his reins toward a migrant.

Ozone precursor pollutants hearing kicks off with NMED, park service witnesses

The New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board kicked off a hearing about the ozone precursor pollutants rule on Monday with opening statements from the New Mexico Environment Department, environmental advocacy groups and industry groups. The hearing is anticipated to take two weeks and public comments are being accepted at multiple times […]

Two NM lawmakers ask state supreme court to give federal funding discretion to legislature

In a move, not likely surprising to political insiders, a Democratic New Mexico state senator who has been a vocal critic of the governor joined one of his Republican colleagues in an attempt to block further spending of federal relief money.  Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, along with Senate Minority Leader […]

‘This is the time.’ Stansbury seeks funding for Pueblo irrigation infrastructure

The Pueblo people have been farming along the Rio Grande since time immemorial, but funding is needed for the infrastructure to keep this practice going, according to U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, who worked to get $200 million included in the reconciliation package for that purpose. The Albuquerque Democrat said that […]

Federal judge denies injunction for NM public health order

A federal judge ruled earlier this week that two women who filed a lawsuit against Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham did not adequately show how a state emergency public health order requiring vaccines for certain activities violated their rights.  U.S District Court Judge Martha Vásquez denied a motion filed by the […]

BLM says social cost of carbon analysis not needed for Loving oil project

When Kayley Shoup, a community organizer with the Carlsbad-based group Citizens Caring for the Future, read over an environmental assessment for new oil wells and infrastructure near Loving, she noticed that the Bureau of Land Management chose not to analyze the social cost of carbon. The BLM states in the […]

Officials urge DHS to end program that puts asylum seekers at greater risk

Several elected New Mexico officials signed onto a letter sent by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas asking for the end of border expulsions under Title 42. Title 42 is a program started under former President Donald Trump […]

New Mexico AG joins suit to fight Texas six-week gestational abortion ban

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined attorneys general from 22 other states and the District of Columbia on an amicus brief in support of the U.S. Attorney General’s suit against Texas’ six-week gestation ban. Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey is the lead on the brief but Balderas spoke along […]

U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell compares abortion to eugenics

In a tweet earlier this week, U.S. Rep. Yvette Herrell equated abortion with eugenics. Herrell’s tweet on Monday was a response to a clip from an NBC broadcaster who was commenting that the state of Texas is “running over” women’s constitutional rights to obtain an abortion since that state’s six-week […]

State sees fewer COVID-19 cases as Delta surge wanes

The state’s current surge of COVID-19 cases, driven by the Delta variant, appears to be slowing down in recent weeks, top health officials said in a press conference on Wednesday. Hospitalizations are still at a very high rate, with 375 people hospitalized for COVID-19 as of Wednesday, and acting Health […]

Environmental Improvement Board prepares to hear ozone precursor pollutants rule

With just days left before a public hearing of the ozone precursor pollutants rule, changes are still being made to the proposal that the New Mexico Environment Department plans to present to the board. The Environmental Improvement Board’s public hearing begins at 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 20. Among the changes […]

Eunice Gas Plant to shutter as part of settlement agreement

The Eunice Gas Plant will be shutting down as part of a settlement between the plant’s owner, DCP Operating Company and the New Mexico Environment Department. NMED alleges DCP illegally emitted almost 3.8 million tons of pollutants from May 2017 through June 2019 at various facilities including the Eunice Gas […]

Leger Fernández introduces bill to help communities’ economic transitions away from fossil fuels

When the transition away from fossil fuels occurs, U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández told NM Political Report it is important not to “leave the communities that powered America’s growth behind.” Leger Fernández, a New Mexico Democrat, introduced a bill, known as the Just Transition for Energy Communities Act, last week […]

Undoing of Trump-era clean-water rule creates optimism, uncertainty

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Opponents of rollbacks to the Trump-era Clean Water Act say 90% of New Mexico’s waters were left unprotected and hope a recent court decision will be a turning point. A federal judge ruled the Trump administration’s 2020 “Navigable Waters Protection Rule” was too flawed to keep in place. That means for […]

‘Religious’ exemptions add legal thorns to looming vaccine mandates

In Northern California, the pastor of a megachurch hands out religious exemption forms to the faithful. A New Mexico state senator will “help you articulate a religious exemption” by pointing to the decades-old use of aborted fetal cells in the development of some vaccines. And a Texas-based evangelist offers exemption […]

State issues warnings on ivermectin use

The state warned residents about the dangers of using ivermectin without a prescription and that there is no medical proof that it helps treat COVID-19. In a press conference earlier this week, acting Department of Health Secretary Dr. David Scrase said he was told that there was one death related […]

Recreational cannabis industry sparks struggle for water rights in parched New Mexico

When New Mexico’s recreational cannabis bill was signed into law in April, Mike Hinkle and Ryan Timmermans jumped at the chance to get into the industry. The two business partners, both recent transplants from the South, bought portable buildings, seeds, grow lights and a property in the village of Carson, […]

Solar developers, utilities reach agreement regarding interconnection applications for community solar

While community solar interconnection applications cannot fully be processed until the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission adopts rules next spring, the three investor-owned utilities are accepting interconnection applications from developers hoping to build a community solar array following a complaint from the Renewable Energy Industries Association. While these applications can […]

With increased push for outdoor recreation, stream access question remains contentious

As outdoor recreation becomes more common in New Mexico, the intersection of stream access and private property rights could become more contentious, according to those on both sides of the debate. Both sides agree that the public has a constitutional right to float waters in New Mexico, even when these […]

Moms concerned about COVID, but many still want in-person learning for their kids

Scared and watchful, moms said they want their children to remain in in-person learning despite the Delta variant causing another COVID-19 surge in New Mexico. After about a year of remote learning, New Mexico public schools started the new year in August and returned to in-person learning. But the Delta […]

Early childcare education advocates push for $15 an hour minimum wage

Without wage parity, New Mexico cannot grow its early childcare education, according to the grassroots organization, OLÉ New Mexico. OLÉ New Mexico held a virtual meeting Thursday evening to bring attention to the low wages early childcare educators make in New Mexico.  According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington […]

As Texans fill up abortion clinics in other states, low-income people get left behind

“As Texans fill up abortion clinics in other states, low-income people get left behind” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues. Sign up for The Brief, our daily […]

NM Cannabis Control Division employees sue agency over assigned work location

As the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department prepares to issue licenses to cannabis businesses, court records show they are also facing a lawsuit by some of the employees tasked with daily operations.  In July, about a month after the state’s Cannabis Regulation Act went into effect, four RLD employees […]

NM medical cannabis producers warn of cannabis shortage ‘crisis’

As New Mexico prepares for its new recreational-use cannabis industry, two cannabis producers are warning of an impending crisis if state regulators do not lift a moratorium on expanding existing medical cannabis production.  After the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division announced a halt on […]

Groups work to track E. coli in rivers

In late August, San Juan Watershed Group Coordinator Alyssa Richmond reached out across the San Juan River using a long pole as it flowed through the Fruitland area and scooped up water. This water was transferred into a bottle that was capped to be sent to a lab in Florida […]

Unable to get assistance: What happens to New Mexicans who speak lesser used languages

Kahleel Alkhalil, a 35-year-old Syrian refugee living in Albuquerque with his wife and eight children, has not been able to receive government relief he qualifies for because he speaks Arabic. Alkhalil is one of thousands of New Mexicans who are eligible for pandemic relief who speak a language other than […]

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations remain high

Modeling from Los Alamos National Labs for the state of New Mexico shows that the current surge of COVID-19 cases could peak soon. That’s according to state epidemiologist Dr. Christine Ross, who was one of three top state health officials who spoke during a press conference on Wednesday. “We all […]

Acequias along the Rio Chama face water shortages amid drought, climate change

For centuries, acequias have provided water to farmers along the Rio Chama near Abiquiu, but now some stretches are drying up and the community is facing curtailment. With climate change leading to less water in the area—especially in terms of spring runoff—the acequia members are looking to make every drop […]

40 million people rely on the Colorado River. It’s drying up fast.

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: Killing the Colorado The Water Crisis in the West This story was originally published by ProPublica On a 110-degree day several years ago, surrounded by piles of […]

Hunting opportunities expanding in Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge

A national wildlife refuge in New Mexico will have increased opportunities for hunting as part of what the U.S. Department of the Interior described as the “largest expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities in recent history.” On Monday, the department announced that 88 national wildlife refuges and one national fish hatchery […]

Some don’t know what they’ll do when federal unemployment assistance ends Sept. 4

With federal unemployment assistance ending in New Mexico on Sept. 4, Albuquerque resident Rhiannon Chavez-Ross worries she could lose her house. A single mom with two children, Chavez-Ross lost her party and event business when the COVID-19 pandemic began. She said she received a Paycheck Protection Program loan of less […]

Community solar workshop touches on bill credits, customer eligibility

A workshop on Friday allowed stakeholders to weigh in on various topics related to community solar, including bill credits, the statewide megawatt cap and low-income subscribers. The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission is tasked with drafting rules for the community solar program.   This process was sparked by the passage of […]

Breast cancer screenings remain down but breast cancer incidence is up in New Mexico

A University of New Mexico Cancer Center oncologist said she and other providers are seeing an increase in the amount of people diagnosed with breast cancer in the state. Dr. Ursa Brown-Glaberman, medical oncologist at the UNM Cancer Comprehensive Center, said the increase in cancer diagnosis began in fall of […]

What’s ahead for the U.S. Supreme Court this year for reproductive health

Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the U.S. Supreme Court case on Mississippi’s 15-week gestational ban, is not the only reproductive healthcare case that the high court could hear this year, according to Supreme Court watchers. The date for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health has not been set yet but Ellie […]

DOH: Pregnant people should get vaccinated to prevent severe illness

The New Mexico Department of Health is encouraging women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant to get vaccinated because COVID-19 during pregnancy can lead to complications. DOH issued a statement Thursday reminding the public the importance of vaccinations against COVID-19 for pregnant people. The U.S. Center for Disease […]

NM starts accepting cannabis cultivation license applications

Nearly 400 companies started the process of applying for a license to grow cannabis in the first several hours the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department started accepting applications.  According to an RLD representative, of the 344 applications that were started, 226 of them were for a microbusiness license, which […]

ICUs full as COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations grow

The growing number of COVID-19 cases and the strain on hospitals is a concern in New Mexico, with crisis standards of care likely to come in a week. So much so that currently there are currently fifty people on a waitlist to find an ICU bed, Acting Department of Health […]

Labor secretary, congresswoman visit orphaned well in Kirtland

As he stood looking at an orphaned well in Kirtland, U.S. Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh asked, “is this ground dirty here?”  Activist Don Schreiber said yes and Adrienne Sandoval, the Oil Conservation Division Director for the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, confirmed that there was surface contamination […]

Cause of San Juan Generating Station cooling tower collapse remains unknown

While the cause of the collapse of a cooling tower at unit one of the San Juan Generating Station has not yet been identified, Public Service Company of New Mexico has provided the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission with some more information regarding the event. Following the collapse, the PRC […]

Governor signs 30×30 executive order

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Wednesday that aims to set aside 30 percent of the state’s lands and waters by 2030 for conservation and another 20 percent for climate stabilization. This comes amid President Joe Biden’s America is Beautiful Initiative, which aims for 30 percent of land […]

Judge denies restraining order in lawsuit against vaccine requirement

A federal lawsuit against New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, over one of her public health orders, is moving forward. But the judge in the case dismissed a request to issue a temporary restraining order to block vaccine requirements for health care workers and state fair attendees.  U.S. District Court […]

Majority of voters back mask mandates

A majority of New Mexico voters support a mandate to wear masks indoors, an action that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state Department of Health took place last week a day after a poll conducted for NM Political Report ended. An even larger majority thought schoolchildren under the age […]

Archaeology Southwest report finds lack of tribal consultation in oil and gas leasing

Oil and gas development on federal lands has prioritized development over protection of cultural sites and has occurred with inadequate tribal consultation, according to a new report authored by Paul Reed, a preservation archaeologist with Archaeology Southwest. During a press conference on Tuesday, Reed said that needs to change.  Reed […]

Bernalillo County commission chooses Bounkeua to fill vacant legislative seat

With a unanimous vote, the Bernalillo County Commission appointed the first Asian American woman to the New Mexico Legislature.  Viengkeo Kay Bounkeua, who goes by Kay, was sworn into office Tuesday evening by Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover after commissioners voted 4-0 to appoint Bounkeua to fill the House District […]

NM cannabis regulators set to accept applications for growers

New Mexico cannabis regulators are one step closer to opening the proverbial floodgates for those who plan to apply for a cannabis cultivation license.  The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division announced on Tuesday that the department finalized rules and regulations for cannabis cultivation as well […]

Slight majority of voters approve of governor’s, president’s handling of COVID-19

A poll of New Mexico voters showed that 51 percent approved of both Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and President Joe Biden’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report, found that 44 percent disapproved of Biden’s handling of the pandemic, while just […]

Monsoon rains help reservoir levels, but won’t end drought in New Mexico

Monsoon rains have brought a small amount of welcome relief to dwindling reservoirs in New Mexico but drought conditions will continue to impact the state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s Albuquerque Area Office. The BOR had projected that Elephant Butte Reservoir, located near Truth or Consequences, could drop […]

NM judge calls for increased purchase limit for medical cannabis patients

As New Mexico’s Regulation and Licensing Department works toward finalizing rules for non-medical cannabis sales, some unfinished business remains when it comes to the state’s medical cannabis program.  A state district judge last week ordered RLD, the New Mexico Department of Health and the governor’s office to either change their […]

Poll: Lujan Grisham at 46% approval, 45% disapproval

A new poll finds that the governor’s approval rating is below 50 percent, but still slightly more people approve of her job than disapprove. The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling for NM Political Report, found that 46 percent of New Mexico voters approve of Michelle Lujan Grisham’s job performance […]

Utah ed-tech company paid $4.6 million to phone, text, email New Mexico students

In Spring 2020, uncertainty quickly turned to desperation for New Mexico’s Public Education Department. In the first months of the pandemic, tens of thousands of students — as many as one in five across the state — were failing a class, skipping school or nowhere to be found. In response, […]

New lawsuit claims NM public health order violates rights

The governor of New Mexico and one of her cabinet secretaries is again facing a lawsuit after issuing a COVID-19 public health order requiring healthcare workers, among other professions like teachers or school staff, to be vaccinated unless they qualify for an exemption. The order, which was issued on Aug. […]

Northwest New Mexico seeks to become hydrogen hub

The United States and countries around the world are eyeing hydrogen as a source of clean, dispatchable power, but work is still needed to get to that point, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told NM Political Report while touring a facility in Farmington that manufactures blue hydrogen reactors. […]

Study: Women may pay more than men for car insurance

With the exception of 16-to-25-year olds, a study found that some women pay more than men for car insurance in New Mexico, according to a consumer advocacy group. According to the data, provided by Consumer Federation of America, the difference in annual average pay rates between a single woman and […]

State hits 75% of adult population with at least one shot

The New Mexico Department of Health announced the state reached another major vaccination threshold, with 75 percent of residents age 18 or older having received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. New Mexico health officials have been pushing for more New Mexicans to become vaccinated to slow the […]

Environmental advocates disappointed in return of oil and gas leasing amid appeal of federal moratorium

While President Joe Biden and the U.S. Department of the Interior announced on Monday that they will appeal a district court’s preliminary injunction that ended the pause of oil and gas lease sales, environmental advocacy groups in New Mexico expressed disappointment that lease sales will resume during the appeals process. […]

Mask mandate for public, indoor spaces returns; vaccination requirements expanded

In an effort to curb the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the governor announced a mask mandate for all public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status, which she was hopeful would be enough to blunt the spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant. “We’re going to use masks and vaccines to […]

El Paso Electric, community advocates reach agreement regarding Newman Unit 6

An agreement between El Paso Electric and community advocates may lead to cleaner air in the southern part of New Mexico while allowing the utility to construct a new unit at a natural gas generating facility in west Texas.  The settlement agreement between the utility and the Chaparral Community Coalition […]

Growing Forward: Cannabis testing

In two weeks, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department, by law, must start accepting applications for non-medical cannabis cultivation licenses. But an often overlooked aspect of the cannabis industry is testing.  The state Department of Health has long had a list of testing requirements for medical cannabis, but now […]

New executive order to direct demographic information on the LGBTQ+ community

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order Monday, effective immediately, directing state agencies to collect voluntary data for informational purposes on the LGBTQ+ community. The state Department of Health will be the lead agency, Lujan Grisham’s press secretary Nora Meyers Sackett wrote to NM Political Report. But all state […]

Legislative committee discusses wildlife management reform, funding

As Congress considers a bill that would fund wildlife conservation efforts nationwide, panelists told the state Legislature’s interim Water and Natural Resources Committee in Taos that more funding is needed to support those efforts, but disagreed on efforts to reform the way wildlife is managed in New Mexico. The Recovering […]

NMSU/UNM classes resume, COVID protocols announced

LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Administrators at New Mexico State University know they’re headed into a fall semester this week facing a spike in COVID-19 cases, but they still hope to make campus life as normal as possible. NMSU Vice Chancellor and Chief COVID-19 Officer Ruth Johnston said they’ve tightened protocols, […]

Despite eviction moratorium, landlords sought to evict hundreds in Albuquerque

Alexander Handboy, an easygoing 40-year-old, moved into Arroyo Villas, a large, well-kept apartment complex in northwest Albuquerque, in December 2019. Less than two months later, he lost his job as a line cook. By the time the pandemic took hold in March and restaurants began to shutter, he’d given up […]

Five ways the federal infrastructure bill could benefit New Mexico projects

From municipal water system resiliency to energy projects, the bipartisan infrastructure package that passed the U.S. Senate on a 69-30 vote this week could help a variety of projects within the state. The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives, which is reconvening on […]

Stratospheric platform will allow for real-time emissions monitoring

New Mexico will soon be able to pinpoint sources of emissions using high altitude platform stations, or airships, that will be located in the stratosphere approximately 65,000 feet above New Mexico. The company Sceye—pronounced sky—signed a memorandum of understanding with the New Mexico Environment Department, the New Mexico Economic Development […]

Pandemic burnout exacerbates state’s nursing shortage problem

The hospital was full. People were crammed in hallways, in closets, in a repurposed nursery — everywhere a bed could fit. Nurses, doctors, the whole hospital staff were still scrambling to care for everyone coming into the emergency room. It had been like that for more than a year when […]

Drought limits the ability for an endangered fish to reach adulthood

The Rio Grande silvery minnow once swam up and down the Rio Grande, even venturing into the Pecos River. But now its range is limited, in part due to humans, and the drought conditions that have led to reduced spring runoff are limiting the number of wild fish that live […]

Hospital leaders urge vaccinations among surge during ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’

Leaders from New Mexico’s largest healthcare systems had a message for New Mexicans: Get vaccinated. During a press conference Tuesday, they discussed the current surge in cases, which they all described as largely among those who remain unvaccinated. “Evidence shows that COVID-19 is now really a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” […]

CYFD secretary steps down, citing a family decision to move out of state

The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department will have a new department head in October, according to an announcement on Tuesday from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.  According to the announcement, current Secretary Brian Blalock will step down this month “to support his wife’s pursuit of new work opportunities in […]

PNM customers concerned Avangrid acquisition could lead to increased rates, outages

Public Service Company of New Mexico customers expressed concerns about the state’s largest utility being acquired by Avangrid, the subsidiary of a global utility giant, during a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hearing on Monday. At the end of Monday’s session, hearing examiner Ashley Schannauer thanked the participants and encouraged […]

Women of color artists: We’ve been held back

When Nora Naranjo Morse, of the Santa Clara Pueblo, was a little girl, she watched her mother, a potter, defer to the white man who sold her pottery at a local curio shop. It’s a memory that haunts the Española-based artist to this day. Naranjo Morse said her mother “was […]

Valencia County man sues for excessive force used on him at the local jail

A lawsuit from a Valencia County man says his civil rights were violated when a group of Valencia County Jail employees beat him with excessive force in March. The man, Marvin Silva, received level two trauma care at University of New Mexico Hospital due to his injuries, according to the […]

PNM, Avangrid merger hearing starts Monday

A New Mexico Public Regulation Commission hearing regarding the Public Service Company of New Mexico merger with Avangrid is set to kick off Monday morning via Zoom. The hearing will also be broadcast on YouTube. A link to the YouTube livestream will be posted online a few minutes before the […]

Governor, others ask private sector to implement vaccination policies

A number of elected officials, including New Mexico’s governor and both of the state’s U.S. Senators, encouraged the private sector to implement vaccination policies for employees. The state has implemented a vaccine requirement for employees. Employees who don’t get vaccinated will need to have regular tests. “A willingness on the […]

Analysis: Don’t want a vaccine? Be prepared to pay more for insurance.

America’s covid-19 vaccination rate is around 60% for ages 12 and up. That’s not enough to reach so-called herd immunity, and in states like Missouri — where a number of counties have vaccination rates under 25% — hospitals are overwhelmed by serious outbreaks of the more contagious delta variant. The vaccine resisters offer all kinds of […]

Uranium remediation could create jobs for impacted communities

State Rep. D. Wonda Johnson, D-Gallup, teared up as she told her colleagues on the interim legislative Indian Affairs Committee and the Rural Economic Opportunities Task Force about the Church Rock uranium spill of 1979. Johnson was a member of a panel presenting to the committees about the economic development […]

New Mexico renters protected under state supreme court eviction stay

Renters in New Mexico who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are still protected under the New Mexico Supreme Court’s stay on evictions, said a court official. Barry Massey, public information officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, told NM Political Report that the state supreme court’s […]

State seeks to reduce risk of abandoned mines

Last year in the area near Orogrande in Otero County, a motorcyclist was killed when he ended up in an abandoned mine, according to Jerry Schoeppner, the Mining and Minerals Division director for the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. Abandoned hard rock mine sites throughout the state […]

Growing Forward: New Mexico’s Green Rush Part 2

About a month after New Mexico legalized cannabis use and possession, and about eight months until sanctioned sales are expected to start, there is little doubt that many New Mexican’s are eager to get a foothold in the state’s newest industry.  The state’s Regulation and Licensing Department is still in […]

Burn scars can have lasting impacts on communities for years after wildfire

Cimarron District Forester Arnie Friedt remembers the Ute Park Fire of 2018 and how crews worked to prevent any residences from being destroyed. Then the rain came and flooding from the burn scar damaged more than 26 homes. “So actually the flooding was more damaging than the fire to property,” […]

Monsoon moisture brings drought relief, but New Mexico may see a dry winter

The monsoon moisture has brought welcome relief to the drought that has strained water resources in New Mexico. At the start of 2021, the entire state was experiencing some degree of drought conditions and more than half the state was in exceptional drought category, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. […]

Sheryl Williams Stapleton resigns

Embattled House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton resigned from her position in the state legislature amid state and federal investigations into alleged corruption related to her role in Albuquerque Public Schools. Earlier this week, state investigators raided Williams Stapleton’s house and Friday the Albuquerque Journal reported APS received a federal […]

Restoration project proposals sought for rivers impacted by Gold King Mine spill

As the sixth anniversary of the Gold King Mine spill approaches, the New Mexico Office of the Natural Resources Trustee is seeking proposals for restoration projects along the impacted river system in the northwest part of the state. The office hosted a webinar on Wednesday to provide groups interested in […]

State to require vaccinations or regular tests for state employees

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed an executive order on Thursday that will require all state employees to be either vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing. The move, which starts on August 2, comes as vaccine cases statewide grow and as the state recommends all New Mexicans wear masks in public […]

COVID-19 cases grow as officials urge New Mexicans to mask up

Top state health officials spoke about the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in New Mexico and nationwide and encouraged New Mexicans to wear masks, following federal health guidelines. The health officials came into the meeting with masks on. “This is not like throwback baseball uniforms,” Dr. David Scrase, […]

AG raids House Majority Leader’s home

State investigators served search warrants at the Albuquerque home of House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton according to multiple media reports. The Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican and other outlets reported the warrants from the Attorney General’s office were in regard to investigations into ties to Robotics Management Learning […]

New Mexico’s climate may lead to a smaller carbon footprint when growing cannabis

When the New Mexico Legislature was considering a bill that eventually became the Cannabis Regulation Act, one of the major topics of concern was water use. Ultimately, lawmakers agreed to require cannabis growers to prove they had legal access to water. But one issue that was not addressed, at least […]

State orders Las Cruces store to stop ‘gifting’ cannabis

In what could end up being the first test case of illicit cannabis operations in a post-legalization New Mexico, a business “gifting” cannabis has caught the attention of state regulators.  According to KVIA-TV, the state’s Cannabis Control Division sent a cease and desist letter to a Las Cruces business called […]

Climate change places some of New Mexico’s unique species at risk

As climate change leads to warmer, drier conditions, some high altitude species found only in small areas of New Mexico may see their habitat vanish and have nowhere to go. This is a concern for an orange, brown and white butterfly found only in a small area of the Sacramento […]

Growing Forward: Green Rush Part 1

By law, the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department has about a month before it has to start accepting applications from businesses looking to enter the new, non-medical cannabis industry. The state’s Cannabis Regulation Act, which was signed into law in April, legalized the adult-use and possession of cannabis as […]

For families of color, climate change in New Mexico is already here, say experts

Climate change isn’t in the future for New Mexico—it’s already here and impacting families of color, according to climate change experts. From Navajo leaving their land due to dwindling resources, hotter wildfires altering landscapes, an increase of climate change refugees crossing outside ports of entry and wells running dry in […]

The stench of climate change

“Oh my gosh. It is just cranking.” Nathalie Eddy, a field advocate for Earthworks, the environmental monitoring group, is sitting in her Jeep next to an oil well southwest of Loving, New Mexico, in the Permian Basin. A tangle of well pumping equipment is on one side of the quarter-acre […]

CYFD employees say they were reprimanded, fired for asking questions about major software contract

In late 2019, Jackson Williams, manager of a data unit at the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, raised his hand at a work meeting to ask about a massive computer system upgrade at the agency — one that could potentially cost $45 million over the next decade. Led […]

Restaurant jobs abound. But many in NM want something better to come back to.

SANTA FE —  More than 71 percent of New Mexico residents have had at least one dose of the vaccine. Thousands of restaurant jobs are vacant statewide, and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has even offered up to a $1,000 cash payment for workers to come back in July. But according […]

Legislators told of possible low-emission cement production at Escalante Power Plant

Beyond coal plants, carbon capture and sequestration may help with cement manufacturing and create new industry in New Mexico, according to a presentation at the Legislative Finance Committee on Thursday. Others, however, remain skeptical of the industry’s viability. Wiley Rhodes, co-founder of Escalante H2 Power, said a retrofit of the […]

New Mexico begins clean car standards rulemaking process

In a few years, new cars being sold in New Mexico may be required to meet more stringent emission requirements, similar to those in place in California. The City of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Environment Department kicked off the rulemaking process to adopt California’s clean car standards with a […]

Early childhood education expansion could empower New Mexico women, advocates say

On August 1, New Mexico will expand early child care assistance to allow a family of four with a  nearly $93,000 yearly income eligible for assistance from the state, among other early childcare changes. Some have said the expansions to early childcare could empower women in New Mexico. Gov. Michelle […]

U.S. House passes PFAS Action Act

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 241-182 in favor of legislation that would regulate PFAS. The PFAS Action Act would require federal regulators to establish national drinking water standards for per-and-polyfluoroalkyl substances. The legislation would further designate PFAS as hazardous, thus allowing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to clean up […]

Democrat Manny Gonzales wants to be mayor. Republicans run his campaign.

Eight years ago, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, a Republican, cruised to re-election with almost 70% of the vote. Yet this year, with just three weeks left for a candidate to produce the 3,000 petition signatures necessary to get on the ballot, it seems likely there won’t be a registered Republican […]

Heinrich, Blunt introduce legislation to fund wildlife conservation

U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich described wildlife conservation as a topic that can bring people together—something that he said is highlighted by a bipartisan Senate bill.. “Whether you grew up in New Mexico or you grew up in Missouri, you remember the first fish you ever catch, you remember the butterflies […]

Border wall map reveals damage to landscape, migration routes

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A newly-released map identifies portions of the U.S.-Mexico border wall built by the Trump administration, and for conservation groups and wildlife advocates, it is alarming. The Biden administration halted construction, and said it will use federal funds to assess damage caused by the new, higher walls. Myles Traphagen, borderlands program coordinator for […]

Abortion care providers prepare for Texas gestational ban

Abortion care providers in New Mexico expect an increase in patients if a court allows Texas’ six-week gestational ban to take effect in September. A group of Texas abortion fund and clinic providers filed suit in a Texas state court last week to stop the state’s new law from going […]

In rural New Mexico, water systems need funding and support

As state Rep. Susan Herrera, D-Embudo, listened to discussions about drought in New Mexico during a legislative Water and Natural Resources Committee meeting, she thought about the rural water systems in her district in Rio Arriba County, where she said four utilities have required temporary backup water as infrastructure failed. […]

Report documents PFAS use in fracking in New Mexico

A report indicating that PFAS chemicals have been used in hydraulic fracturing operations in New Mexico “emphasizes how important it is for regulators to know what is in the industrial wastewater,” Maddy Hayden, a spokesperson for the New Mexico Environment Department told NM Political Report in an email. Physicians for […]

PRC plans to open official inquiry into San Juan cooling tower collapse

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission plans to open an investigation into a cooling tower collapse that happened in late June at the San Juan Generating Station. “We had a major baseload component of our power system go down and we were in the dark about it,” said Commission Chairman […]

Enchant Energy pushes for legislation clarifying pore space ownership

Enchant Energy is asking New Mexico lawmakers to introduce legislation that would clarify who owns the rights to the small cavities in geological formations that carbon dioxide can be injected into. These cavities are known as pore space. Enchant Energy is hoping to take ownership of the San Juan Generating […]

AHA: LGBTQ at greater risk for cardiovascular events and risks

Growing evidence indicates that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer adults experience worse cardiovascular health than their cisgender heterosexual peers according to the American Heart Association. For instance, transgender men are twice as likely to have a heart attack than cisgender men and four times as likely than cisgender women, […]

Top NM cannabis regulator on rule changes: Substantive changes require a new hearing

There are less than two months left before the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department is required by law to start accepting recreational-use cannabis business applications. But before the department can do that, it needs to finalize rules that outline its own standards and requirements for cannabis businesses.  The department […]

USDA may buy cows from dairy farm contaminated with PFAS

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is working on regulations that would allow the government to buy the cattle from a dairy farm in Clovis where groundwater was contaminated by PFAS related to training at a nearby Air Force base, U.S. Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez said during a virtual press conference […]

State Oil Conservation Division can issue fines for spills

Soon the state’s Oil Conservation Division will have the ability to issue civil fines when oil and natural gas industry spills occur. The Oil Conservation Commission approved a final order to amend the state’s release rule during a meeting on Thursday. This unanimous vote came approximately one month after it […]

Old oil fields may be ideal for carbon sequestration

When looking for places to sequester carbon, old oil fields may be a promising choice, according to a new study published in the journal Geology. Geophysicists from Stanford University analyzed the Delaware Basin – a sub-basin of the Permian Basin in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico – and found […]

San Juan Generating Station taken offline after cooling tower collapse

Unit one of the San Juan Generating Station was taken off line last week after a cooling tower collapsed, sources familiar with the incident told NM Political Report. The cooling tower is necessary to operate the unit and, unless it is repaired, the unit will not be able to produce […]

Paid sick leave law will go into effect in 2022

On Thursday most bills that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed into law earlier this year went into effect but the one that did not yet is the Healthy Workplaces Act. The Healthy Workplaces Act, or paid sick leave, provides all private sector employees up to 64 hours of paid time […]

Coalition of Native women urge the public to keep wearing masks

On Thursday the state ended COVID-19 restrictions, including mask mandates, but Indigenous leaders with the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women urge the public to keep wearing the mask. Angel Charley, Laguna and executive director of CSVANW, said this is a safety precaution. “It requires a lot of sacrifice […]

Advocates: SCOTUS decision emphasizes need for more LGBTQ protections

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Fulton v. the City of Philadelphia is not likely to a impact the New Mexico LGBTQ community, legal experts and advocates have said. Fulton v. the City of Philadelphia asked the Supreme Court to decide if Catholic Social Services (CSS) could continue its contract […]

OCD has issued 23 complaints resulting in fines against oil and gas companies

The Oil Conservation Division of the state’s Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department regained the ability to fine oil and gas companies that were not complying with state laws a little more than a year ago, and officials say this has paid off. Since February of 2020, the OCD has […]

NM expands early childcare subsidies

For the next two years, New Mexico will raise the income eligibility for childcare assistance from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 350 percent of the federal poverty level with a phase out at 400 percent of the federal poverty level, officials announced Thursday. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, […]

Survey: Half of New Mexicans approve of governor’s job performance

A poll conducted by SurveyUSA for KOB-TV showed that half of New Mexico adults approve of how Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is doing her job. The poll showed that 50 percent of those polled approved of her job performance, while 32 percent disapproved and 18 percent were not sure. Lujan […]

As water levels drop in Elephant Butte, Reclamation prepares for conditions not seen since the 1950s

Recent rains have brought some relief to Elephant Butte reservoir in southern New Mexico, but the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is still preparing for low levels that have not been seen since the 1950s. Mary Carlson, a spokesperson for the BOR, said three decades of drought conditions where dry years […]

Lujan Grisham says she wants NM to have the best cannabis in the region

Hundreds of people vying to be a part of New Mexico’s newest legal industry gathered in downtown Albuquerque on Wednesday, a day after recreational-use cannabis became legal in the state.  Dozens of vendor booths that included marketing professionals, cultivation suppliers and cannabis educators attended the first day of the two-day […]

New Mexico lifts pandemic restrictions

The state’s pandemic restrictions ended on Thursday, marking the end of restrictions that have been in place for over 470 days. The state first put occupancy rules in place last March, when the state recorded its first cases of COVID-19. Since then, the state has reported 205,542 confirmed cases of […]

State takes first steps to establish adult-use cannabis regulations

On the first day of legalized, recreational-use cannabis in New Mexico the department set to oversee the new industry held a rulemaking hearing.  During the hearing, held by the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department and its Cannabis Control Division, a long list of stakeholders shared their concerns about water […]

New Mexico’s first day of legal adult-use cannabis

Today marks the first official day of adult-use cannabis legalization in New Mexico. But legal sales for those without authorization to purchase and use medical cannabis will not begin until sometime early next year.  The New Mexico Legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation Act earlier this year during a special session […]

Federal court of appeals sends solar standby fee case back to lower court

The federal Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a lower court’s ruling on a case centered around whether a utility can charge an extra rate to customers with solar panels.  The court remanded the case to the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on Monday after judges […]

NM Department of Game and Fish considers river otter reintroduction into the Gila River

While various environmental advocacy groups are pushing for river otter reintroduction in the Gila River basin of New Mexico, biologists say this could impact several sensitive fish species that the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has been working to protect and recover. These fish once coexisted with the […]

Former inmate sues Corrections Department for negligence

A former inmate is suing the New Mexico Corrections Department and some of its employees for allegedly endangering the man’s life while transporting him and others in an unair-conditioned vehicle in 2019. Lawrence Lamb, 61, filed the suit last week in Santa Fe state district court. The suit alleges that […]

Revenue diversification needed as NM looks to transition away from fossil fuels

As New Mexico looks at an inevitable end to oil and gas extraction, some environmental advocates say no new leases should be issued and the United States should work to phase out fossil fuels. This would not have a huge immediate impact on the state, but could result in less […]

House votes to restore Obama-era methane rules

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 229 to 191 on Friday to reinstate methane regulations implemented under President Barack Obama’s administration and rolled back by former President Donald Trump. The House’s vote comes after the U.S. Senate voted in late April in favor of the measure, which is intended to […]

With shelter beds available in New Mexico, asylum seekers wait across the border in dangerous conditions because of a Trump-imposed policy

Hundreds of available shelter beds in New Mexico are empty while families, including a Honduran mother and her child, seek asylum in the U.S. are forced to wait across the border with Mexico in Ciudad Juárez. Advocates have said there is a humanitarian crisis happening along the border. The Donald […]

High-level officials accuse CYFD of retaliation

A husband and wife who blew the whistle on the state’s destruction of official records have filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Children, Youth, and Families Department, claiming they were fired from their jobs in retaliation.  The lawsuit was jointly filed Tuesday by Cliff W. Gilmore, the former head […]

Iberdrola executives named in criminal espionage investigation

Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid have informed the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission of a criminal investigation in Spain that names several executives of Avangrid’s parent company, Iberdrola. This comes as the PRC is weighing a merger case that would allow Avangrid to acquire PNM. A document […]

As liquor law changes go into effect on July 1, delivery will have to wait on rulemaking

On July 1, a number of bills signed into law by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham will go into effect. Among those bills is one that makes significant changes to New Mexico’s liquor laws. But some of those significant changes, like delivery of alcohol, are also dependent on administrative rules and […]

NM hits 60 percent vaccination mark

The state of New Mexico reached two milestones in its vaccination efforts this week: over 1 million people fully vaccinated and 60 percent of all residents age 16 or older fully vaccinated. The numbers came as the state announced it would fully reopen businesses to maximum capacity on July 1, […]

Governor petitions EPA to list PFAS as hazardous waste

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham filed a petition with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday, to list per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, also known as PFAS, as hazardous waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. “PFAS chemicals present an imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment,” […]

Social justice advocate Pamelya Herndon appointed new HD 28 representative

The Bernalillo County Commission appointed social justice advocate and lawyer Pamelya Herndon to the state House to replace U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury, on Tuesday. The Bernalillo County Commissioners voted 4 to 0 in favor of Herndon with one, Commissioner Debbie O’Malley, absent. Herndon vied for the job against seven other […]

War of words over New Mexico’s oil fields

In mid-June, a federal judge in Louisiana blocked the Biden administration’s 5-month-old pause on new oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and waters. But in New Mexico, where the state’s Democratic governor had requested an exemption to the pause, the tension over leases highlights how tricky it is for […]

Former legislator seeks appointment to vacant state House seat

Idalia Lechuga-Tena announced on Friday she is seeking appointment to House District 28 amidst a growing list of women interested in the seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury. Bernalillo County Commissioners meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday in a special meeting to decide who will replace Stansbury. Bernalillo County Commissioners […]

BLM releases draft environmental assessment for potash mine clay settlement facility

The federal Bureau of Land Management has released a draft environmental assessment regarding Mosaic Potash Carlsbad’s plans to use a nearly 1,000 acre natural playa as a clay settlement facility. The playa, known as Laguna Uno, has previously been used by the mine and, if approved, the mining company will […]

The great disconnect

On May 18, a judge overseeing the historic Yazzie-Martinez case ordered the New Mexico Public Education Department to take stock of the massive digital divide in the state and finally identify the roughly 76,000 students who lacked Internet connections they desperately needed for school.  One of PED’s responses was to […]

State to allow 100 percent capacity for businesses on July 1

Capacity-based restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic will end in New Mexico on July 1, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced on Friday, which means all companies will be able to open at 100 percent capacity. “The simple fact is: We are beating this pandemic,” the governor said. The opening is […]

ABQ city council rejects most of mayor’s cannabis zoning proposals

The Albuquerque City Council made zoning restrictions and allowances for recreational-use cannabis official Thursday night after a six hour meeting to approve the city’s updated Integrated Development Ordinance.  For weeks, both those in the medical cannabis industry and those hoping to be a part of the recreational-use cannabis industry have […]

New Mexicans weigh in on methane as EPA considers new rules

Dozens of New Mexicans issued warnings about the current and future impacts of climate change this week as they urged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to adopt a new rule that would lead to significant methane emission reductions from the oil and gas sector. The comments happened as part of […]

EMNRD launches interactive climate change map

The state Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department launched an interactive map that will help New Mexicans see how climate change is anticipated to impact their communities. The department  created the map in collaboration with The University of New Mexico’s Earth Data Analysis Center. In addition to showing how climate […]

PED: Pandemic impacts will affect schooling going forward

During the first twelve months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the academic school year was like no other. From March 2020 until April 2021, students in New Mexico public schools learned either remotely or through a hybrid model that included some in-person learning. Remote learning nationwide, on average, put more stress […]

PRC says community solar projects cannot be approved until rules are completed

While the Community Solar Act does not go into effect until June 18, investor-owned utilities have been receiving applications, and at least one of the utilities has expressed uncertainty about how to process such applications because rules regarding such projects will not be completed until next year. The New Mexico […]

Health officials continue push for New Mexicans to become vaccinated

While over two-thirds of New Mexicans age 16 or older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination shot, the number who are fully vaccinated remains below the state’s 60 percent goal. As of Wednesday’s update, Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said 67.6 percent of all New Mexicans age […]

New Mexico birders have the opportunity to participate in a community science project

A group of researchers chose a mountain peak in New Mexico as a location where birders can help with breeding bird counts. The Mountain Bird Network selected Deception Peak, which can be accessed from the Ski Santa Fe area, in New Mexico as one of three locations to start the […]

Army veteran seeks House seat

An Army veteran has announced she is seeking the appointment to House District 28. Michelle Peacock, who served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan as an Army Nurse Corps Officer, has joined the list of two other women who are seeking to replace U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury for her […]

PRC receives first grid modernization application

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has received its first grid modernization application since the state Legislature passed the Energy Grid Modernization Roadmap during the 2020 session. Southwestern Public Service Company filed an application for grid modernization on June 4 and, during the Tuesday PRC meeting, the commission’s counsel Judith […]

Study: Pneumatic controllers, wellbore liquids unloading make Hilcorp the top methane emitter

Hilcorp Energy, a prominent oil and gas company that operates in the San Juan Basin, has the highest reported methane emissions in the country, according to a report released this month by the Clean Air Task Force in collaboration with Ceres. The report, which was authored by the advisory group […]

Activist announces she is seeking appointment to HD 28

Long time community activist Pamelya Herndon announced on Monday that she is seeking appointment to state House District 28 to replace U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury. Herndon moved to the district in 1982, where she and her husband raised their three children. She said she thinks she is the best person […]

LNG proponents say exports could reduce emissions, but critics call it a bridge to nowhere

Touting natural gas as a bridge fuel to help address global climate change, a study released by the Western States and Tribal Nations Natural Gas Initiative (WSTN) states that replacing coal-fired generation in several Asian countries with liquefied natural gas from Rocky Mountain states could reduce net life cycle emissions […]

Stansbury to resign from state House, be sworn into U.S. House

New Mexico state Representative Melanie Stansbury announced her resignation from the state House. The resignation will be effective Monday, the same day Stansbury will be sworn into the U.S. House after a landslide special election victory earlier this month. “Serving in the New Mexico House of Representatives has been one […]

How a federal abortion bill could impact New Mexico

This week members of Congress introduced legislation into both chambers that would codify Roe v. Wade into law if it passes. HR 3755, more commonly known as the Women’s Health Protection Act, would protect a person’s ability to terminate a pregnancy and would protect a provider’s ability to provide abortion […]

A broken system: Why the number of American Indian and Alaska Natives who have died during the coronavirus pandemic may never be known

This story is produced by the Indigenous Investigative Collective, a project of the Native American Journalists Association in partnership with High Country News, Indian Country Today, National Native News and Searchlight New Mexico. It was produced in partnership with MuckRock with the support of JSK-Big Local News. In May of […]

NMED secretary says federal regulations are needed for PFAS

Toxic chemicals that do not break down in the environment have been threatening water sources nationwide, witnesses told the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works during a hearing on Wednesday. Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, better known as PFAS, have received attention in New Mexico and nationwide as they were […]

Dispute over wolf cross-fostering in Catron County

After learning about a plan to place captive-born Mexican wolves in a den of wild wolves in Catron County, Rep. Yvette Herrell, a Republican from New Mexico, wrote a letter to State Land Commissioner Stephanie Garcia Richard urging her to reconsider the move. “These activities are occurring less than two […]

NM Senate leadership clears senator of ethics violation allegation

A dust-up between an outspoken New Mexico state senator and a state cabinet secretary over ethics related to cannabis legislation has come to a resolution, at least temporarily.  According to a letter from Senate leadership last month, sent to New Mexico Department of Health Secretary Tracie Collins, there will be […]

A group of inmates sue state and Corrections Department over medical grievance system

A group of state prisoners alleged a corrupt medical grievance system violates their constitutional rights and has contributed to a bone epidemic in New Mexico prisons in a lawsuit. The 18 prisoners filed a lawsuit last month in state district court against the state, the New Mexico Corrections Department and […]

Members of redistricting committee chosen

The seven members of the state’s redistricting committee are set, as the state prepares to do its decennial redistricting process. The Legislature passed a bill to set up a redistricting commission earlier this year.  Legislative leaders and the state ethics commission selected the members of the redistricting committee. The ethics […]

New Mexico Supreme Court: State not required to compensate businesses for public health closures

Businesses that were ordered to close during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic do not have a claim for government compensation, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled.   The unanimous opinion, written by Justice Shannon Bacon, states that public health orders from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state Department […]

Citizen lawmakers find work in new cannabis industry

Cannabis legalization in New Mexico was sold as, amongst other things, a job creator. Those who are eyeing the new industry are navigating proposed rules and regulations and making plans for real space, how many plants they will be able to grow and how to get their applications approved by […]

NMED investigates size of PFAS plumes

The New Mexico Environment Department is investigating the size of the PFAS plumes in eastern New Mexico. PFAS, or per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, are chemicals that were used in firefighting foam at two air force bases in the state. The chemicals can impact human health and are known as “forever […]

Scientists say dire climate change scenarios should be taken into account in Colorado River Basin water management

Climate change threatens the availability of water in the Colorado River basin and water managers need to take steps now to prepare, the director of the Water Resources Program at the University of New Mexico John Fleck and Brad Udall, the senior water and climate research scientist at the Colorado […]

Lujan Grisham announces reelection campaign

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham made it official on Thursday: She is running for a second term in office. At an event in Old Town New Mexico, she announced that she would run for a second term. No New Mexico governor has lost a reelection campaign since 1994 when incumbent Bruce […]

All counties are turquoise as 60 percent fully vaccinated nears

Every county in New Mexico is now at the turquoise level, the least restrictive level of restrictions. “Given the state’s vaccination progress and continued positive outlook with respect to new virus cases, counties will remain at the turquoise level barring exceptional circumstances,” Department of Health Secretary Dr. Tracie Collins said. […]

Stansbury wins special election

New Mexico state Rep. Melanie Stansbury will soon officially become a U.S. Representative.  Stansbury won easily on Tuesday over three other opponents on the ballot in a special election: Republican Mark Moores, Libertarian Chris Manning and independent candidate Aubrey Dunn.  The special election was held in order to replace former […]

Vaccinated New Mexicans eligible for sweepstakes with $5 million grand prize

New Mexicans who are vaccinated and part of the state’s vaccinenm.org registration system will be entered in a sweepstakes with a chance to win part of a $10 million prize pool—including a $5 million grand prize. The Vax 2 the Max Sweepstakes is New Mexico’s version of an effort by […]

IEEFA report: Carbon capture project lacks investors, has an unrealistic timeframe

Enchant Energy faces “insurmountable” obstacles as it works to acquire the San Juan Generating Station and retrofit it with carbon capture technology, according to David Schissel, director of resource planning analysis for the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Schissel authored a report released on Thursday looking at the […]

Cannabis providers try to navigate a new industry

While the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department scrambles to fully implement regulations for non-medical cannabis, those who plan to get into the new industry as well as those already in the medical cannabis industry are already trying to navigate proposed rules.  With an April 2022 deadline to have a […]

In Anthony, NM, a border community and its farmworkers find solidarity in the pandemic

ANTHONY, N.M. — Josh Jasso stood among mounds of greenery in an otherwise parched expanse, squinting at the fields of La Semilla Community Farm. “We’re feeling smaller and smaller in our fractured landscape,” said Jasso, the farm manager at La Semilla, which is located on a stretch of highway in […]

House Natural Resources Committee passes bill addressing orphaned oil and gas wells

A bill that would help states plug and clean up orphaned oil and gas wells passed the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday on a 22 to 17 vote. The Orphaned Well Clean Up and Jobs Act is sponsored by Rep. Teresa Leger Fernández, a Democrat from New Mexico. “Orphaned […]

Environmental groups say an EIS is needed for the San Juan carbon capture project

A group of nine environmental organizations sent a letter to the Department of Energy secretary requesting the initiation of a multi-agency environmental impact statement looking at Enchant Energy’s proposal to retrofit the San Juan Generating Station with carbon capture technology. If an EIS is required, it would delay the project […]

Lesser prairie chicken in New Mexico could be listed as endangered

Two populations of the lesser prairie chicken could receive federal species protections amid concerns about loss of habitat. The southern population would be listed as endangered while the northern population would receive protections as a threatened species, according to a press release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The […]

Where does New Mexico stand in the path to net zero emissions by 2050

The state of New Mexico has emerged in recent years as a leader in policies aimed at reducing emissions amid the climate crisis, but at the same time it has seen an increase in oil and gas production in the southern part of the state and faces challenges with inequitable […]

Incarcerated woman challenges New Mexico Corrections Department’s methadone policy

An incarcerated woman in New Mexico filed suit last month against the state Department of Corrections after officials allegedly discontinued her prescription for methadone. The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico filed an emergency injunctive relief on Monday in federal court for a plaintiff known as “S.B.” who suffers from […]

Recent storms have brought moisture, but fire danger remains

Recent rain and snow in parts of New Mexico have brought a temporary reprieve from the high fire dangers, but officials warn that the vegetation can dry out quickly and that precautions should be taken to prevent and prepare for wildfire. “My biggest concern and concern from fire management is […]

Two CYFD employees who raised concerns over deleted records were later fired

The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department has fired two high-level employees who raised concerns about the agency’s practice of encrypting and summarily destroying records. A Searchlight New Mexico investigation has found that over the past year, the CYFD used the secure text messaging app Signal to discuss a […]

The future of reproductive healthcare in NM if Roe v. Wade is overturned

If the U.S. Supreme Court overturns or guts Roe v. Wade next year when it hears the case involving a Mississippi law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks, New Mexico could face a fight and increased harassment at clinics, according to reproductive rights experts. The U.S. Supreme Court announced […]

Analysis finds $8.1 billion gap in New Mexico bonding requirements, clean up costs for oil and gas

Oil and gas infrastructure could leave the state with a hefty price tag for cleanup  if companies go bankrupt, according to a new analysis completed by the Center for Applied Research. The analysis found an $8.18 billion difference between the bonds for the infrastructure in the state and the cost […]

NM Tax and Revenue: Lawmakers didn’t intend for cannabis tax breaks

The issue of whether taxes on medical cannabis sales in New Mexico should have been deductible prior to this year is one step closer to being heard by the state’s supreme court.  The state Attorney General’s office filed a brief on Monday with the New Mexico Supreme Court on behalf […]

Secretary of State and state Libertarian Party, argue legal ballot challenge lacks merit

Despite a special congressional election well underway, with many absentee ballots already returned and early in-person votes cast, the New Mexico Supreme Court may consider a case that challenges the validity of one of the candidates whose name is on the ballot.  In April, a state district judge dismissed a […]

Chaparral residents seek alternative to new El Paso Electric natural gas unit

When Ida Garcia looks out the kitchen window during cool mornings, plumes billowing from a power plant less than a mile away in Texas obscure her view of the broad Chihuahuan desert skies and expansive vistas. During hot summer days the plumes disappear but she still worries.  “We see that […]

Medical cannabis patient asks judge to rule on purchase limits

A New Mexico medical cannabis patient is challenging state rules for medical cannabis purchase limits.  Jason Barker, a medical cannabis patient and advocate, filed a request in Santa Fe’s First Judicial District Court earlier this month, asking a judge to compel the state’s Medical Cannabis Program and Cannabis Control Division […]

New Mexico utilities prepare for electric vehicles

While there may not be a lot of electric vehicles on the roads today, Kit Carson Electric Cooperative CEO Luis Reyes said his utility is taking steps to prepare for this to change in the upcoming years. Hundreds of electric vehicle charging stations have been installed around the state and […]

Heinrich requests protecting Chaco from oil and gas leasing

Sen. Martin Heinrich sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland requesting an area surrounding Chaco Culture National Historical Park be protected from future oil and gas development. Heinrich, a New Mexico Democrat, asked Haaland to administratively withdraw the federal minerals within a 10-mile radius of the park from leasing. […]

Lawsuit against alleges civil rights violations by private prison company, Torrance County

Nine migrants who were detained in Torrance County Detention Facility and a nonprofit called the Santa Fe Dreamers Project are suing the operator of the facility and Torrance County for an alleged incident when guards pepper sprayed the detainees to disrupt a hunger strike last year. The nine individual plaintiffs […]

High density of rooftop solar can create challenges on the grid

With rooftop solar growing in demand, there are some places in New Mexico where residents are being told they cannot install solar panels due to capacity limitations. For example, Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) placed 178 applications for interconnection on hold in 2019 and 2020 because of capacity […]

Masks no longer required for those who are vaccinated (in most situations)

Those who are fully vaccinated can now go without masks in most situations in New Mexico—indoors or outdoors. The state Department of Health followed federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance in making sweeping changes to its suggested mask use. Getting vaccinated is the ticket to a safe and […]

Inhumane conditions and alleged sexual assault at NM women’s prisons

Many incarcerated women, often already traumatized from gender violence, potentially face re-traumatization once imprisoned in New Mexico through inhumane conditions and sexual assault, according to attorneys. Lalita Moskowitz, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico, said the inhumane conditions run the gamut in New Mexico prisons—from […]

Heinrich to introduce legislation to provide a ‘glide path’ for energy producing states

Sen. Martin Heinrich announced Thursday plans to introduce legislation that would help areas that depend on revenue from fossil fuels maintain balanced government and education budgets as the country moves toward a clean energy economy. Known as the Schools and State Budgets Certainty Act, the bill would provide funding to […]

Viva Las Vegas: The town is getting a pandemic revival thanks to local teens

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — A loud bass beat vibrated through the air in the kitchen of The Skillet, but line cook Kyle Conway worked in silence. The 18-year-old, a big kid with the suggestion of a mustache, spiralized potatoes into ribbon fries, dumped breaded green chile into bubbling oil and […]

Some energy transition funding project proposals include fossil fuels

As the northwest corner of New Mexico prepares for the closure of the San Juan Generating Station, at least one proposed project to help displaced workers could lead to increased natural gas extraction. Last year, the Energy Transition Act committee sent out a request for information on projects that could […]

New study looks at jaguar reintroduction possibilities

A big cat, largely absent from the United States since the 1960s after living in the southwest for thousands of years, could make a return to the area. Conservationists are now exploring reintroducing the jaguar to New Mexico and Arizona. A study published on Tuesday in the journal Conservation Science […]

Navajo-Gallup water delay spurs problem solving in arid Southwest

Early this year, five of Gallup, New Mexico’s 16 water wells stopped producing water, including two of its biggest. After a few days of maintenance, two worked. The other three were out of commission for more than a month. Had it happened in summer, the city might have asked residents […]

U.S. Health and Human Services stays restrictions on mifepristone

The U.S. Health and Human Services Department and the American Civil Liberties Union agreed to put a lawsuit on hold late last week that could have longer term implications for the abortion medication mifepristone. On Friday the HHS, which oversees the Food and Drug Administration, filed in Hawaii district court […]

Study finds high levels of methane emissions on Navajo Nation lands

Carol Davis, the director of the environmental advocacy group Diné CARE, recalled spending a few days camping near Counselor, New Mexico with other members of the advocacy group a few years ago and feeling sick from the emissions related to oil and gas production. “For me, being in a region […]

NMED releases ozone precursor rules

Following concerns from members of the environmental community, the New Mexico Environment Department removed the exemptions from the oil and gas sector ozone precursor rule for stripper and marginal wells. The department released the ozone precursor rule Thursday and filed a petition with the Environmental Improvement Board to review it. […]

‘America the Beautiful’ report outlines path toward 30 percent conservation by 2030

President Joe Biden has called for preserving 30 percent of the lands and waters in the United States by 2030 and, on Thursday, his administration released a report outlining how this could be accomplished. The report released on Thursday, called Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful 2021, states that three […]

Most of state is at turquoise level as vaccinations still grow

Nearly every county in New Mexico, including the state’s most populous counties, are set to be in the turquoise tier, which has the least capacity restrictions. “It’s exciting what’s happening to the color of the state,” Human Services Department Secretary Dr. David Scrase said, referring to the restrictions by county. […]

State agencies confirm medical cannabis purchase limits will not increase anytime soon

Two New Mexico state agencies confirmed on Wednesday in a letter that medical cannabis purchase limits will not increase, as it was previously suggested last month by a group of medical cannabis producers.  Related: NM medical cannabis patients should not expect increased purchase limits any time soon In an official […]

Heinrich touts transmission, agriculture and hydrogen as ways to address the climate crisis

Sen. Martin Heinrich said this week reinstating methane regulations that former President Donald Trump rolled back will buy time to take the next steps to addressing the climate crisis.  The Senate approved revoking the rollback of the methane regulations about a week ago and the House of Representatives, where the […]

Fungus that causes white-nose syndrome is found on bats in New Mexico caves

A fungus that causes the often-fatal white-nose syndrome in bats has been found in two caves in eastern New Mexico. These caves are located within the Bureau of Land Management’s Roswell Field Office in De Baca and Lincoln counties. BLM Wildlife Biologist Marikay Ramsey said New Mexico has not had […]

Children sentenced as adults are disproportionately children of color

When Carissa McGee was 16 years old, she was sentenced to 21 years in an adult correctional facility for stabbing two members of her family. McGee told NM Political Report she was mentally ill at the time, but the judge still sentenced her to more than two decades in prison. […]

Existing cannabis producers get an extension on licensing deadline

New Mexico medical cannabis producers that intend to continue doing business after commercial cannabis sales begin next year will not be required to renew their license this summer, according to state officials.  The state’s Department of Health and the Regulation and Licensing Department said in a letter that current medical […]

NM Political Report wins nine regional awards

NM Political Report won nine awards at the regional Society of Professional Journalists Region 9 “Top of the Rockies” contest, including four first place awards. The annual awards include journalists from Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. NM Political Report competed in the small newsroom group, except for in the […]

As outdoor recreation increases, OHVs departing from trails leave a noticeable impact

When it comes to outdoor recreation, departing from designated trails can have negative impacts on the areas. Axie Navas, the director of the state’s Outdoor Recreation Division, said mountain bicycles, hikers and off-highway vehicles can all leave their tracks across the landscapes. But when the driver of an off-highway vehicle, […]

Transgender woman to seek legislative seat

On Thursday, one of the first openly transgender people to seek a New Mexico legislative seat, Bunnie Benton Cruse, announced her intent to replace Rep. Melanie Stansbury for the state House. Stansbury is the Democratic nominee in the June 1 special election for the state’s 1st Congressional District, a seat […]

Amid drought, Interstate Stream Commission seeks federal support

As much of New Mexico faces exceptional drought conditions, the Interstate Stream Commission authorized its chairman to ask the Department of Interior for financial support. The commission approved delegating that authority to commission chairman during its meeting on Friday. The chairman will work with State Engineer John D’Antonio to request […]

NM medical cannabis patients should not expect increased purchase limits any time soon

The head of the department tasked with regulating recreational-use cannabis in New Mexico said medical cannabis patients should not expect purchase limits to be expanded, despite a letter from a group of New Mexico medical cannabis producers suggesting otherwise.   Last week, during an interview for the collaborative podcast Growing Forward, […]

Medical cannabis producer loses license

The New Mexico Department of Health has officially revoked the license to grow and manufacture medical cannabis from a Santa Fe-based company that experienced an explosion last year, resulting in injuries.   In an official determination signed by DOH Secretary Tracie Collins on Monday, the department officially revoked the license for […]

Citing millions in waste, ACLU calls for closure of 39 ICE facilities, including Otero County Processing Center

Citing $1 million a day of wasted federal dollars, the American Civil Liberties Union called on President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday to close 39 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention facilities across the U.S., including the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral. The federal government has been paying for […]

State accelerates reopening, could fully reopen by end of June

If all goes according to plan, the state will fully reopen by the end of June—and in the meantime, much of the state will be on the least restrictive, turquoise level after newly announced changes. “We are conquering COVID,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press conference on Wednesday […]

Senate votes to reverse Trump’s rollback of methane regulations

The U.S. Senate voted on Wednesday to restore methane regulations that were instituted under President Barack Obama and rolled back under President Donald Trump. The Senate used the Congressional Review Act to push for the repeal of Trump’s rollbacks of the Environmental Protection Agency methane reduction rule. The Congressional Review […]

WATCH: COVID-19 press conference with governor, health officials

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and health officials held a press conference on the state’s COVID-19 response on Wednesday. The remote press conference was webcast on the governor’s Facebook page. The video below is from the page.

In the state department charged with child welfare, leadership and staff avoid a paper trail with encrypted messaging.

Since last year, the department tasked with overseeing foster care and child welfare in New Mexico has been encrypting and routinely deleting its communications, making much of its work essentially untraceable.   The leadership of the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) has directed staff to use Signal, a secure communication […]

Two transmission line projects in NM are listed in ‘ready to go’ report

A report released Tuesday by Americans for a Clean Energy Grid includes two New Mexico transmission projects that it says could move from advanced planning to construction if certain policies are changed. The report concludes that federal policy reform is needed in three areas: permitting, financing and planning. There are […]

Trust for Public Lands seeks to donate nearly 9,900 acres to expand Sabinoso Wilderness Area

A donation of nearly 9,900 acres of land in San Miguel County for the expansion of Sabinoso Wilderness could increase access to the remote landscape. The Trust for Public Lands is in the process of donating 9,855 acres known as Cañon Ciruela to the Bureau of Land Management. Public comments […]

New Mexico’s fight to escape the grasp of Big Oil and Gas

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez quickly learned the harsh reality of New Mexico politics after she was appointed to fill an empty seat in the state senate two years ago. One of the first bills she pushed sought a four-year pause on new fracking permits on state lands, taking that time to […]

Fisheries rule update may open remote creek for fishing

As the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish works to update its fisheries rule, a remote stream in the Gila wilderness could be opened for angling. Fishing has not been allowed in McKenna Creek in Catron County in an effort to protect a small Gila trout population. For decades, […]

Important dates in special congressional election

New Mexico’s special election for Congressional District 1 has an expedited timeline compared to other elections.  State law dictates that the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office holds an election within 90 days after a congressional seat is left vacant. That means a whole election cycle was crammed into a […]

Critics say PNM, Avangrid merger could hurt ratepayers, environment

Government entities, utilities and watchdog groups say a merger between Public Service Company of New Mexico and Avangrid could harm both ratepayers and the environment unless protections are included. These entities filed testimony in a New Mexico Public Regulation Commission case evaluating the merger. This merger is subject to the […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham: NM can lead the way in cannabis innovation

Recreational-use cannabis sales are a year away in New Mexico, but Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is already considering ways for the state to lead the market in innovation.  One idea, which she said she co-opted from her communications director, is some sort of fusion of cannabis and chile.  “It is […]

State unveils new red-to-green map, fewer counties in turquoise

A top state health official said he believed all counties in New Mexico could be at the green or turquoise level by the end of May. “Maybe I shouldn’t even say that, but my way of thinking, we will be an almost completely green and turquoise state by the end […]

PRC orders PNM to address past use of Palo Verde as it seeks to end its leases at the facility

State regulators asked the state’s largest utility to defend a past decision to continue leasing shares of a nuclear power plant as it now asks regulators to approve replacing that electricity with renewable sources. Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) has filed to replace the energy it gets from […]

American Lung Association releases State of the Air report

Bernalillo, Santa Fe and Taos counties received “A” grades from the American Lung Association in terms of particle pollution, however ozone pollution remains a problem. Bernalillo County received an “F” for the number of high ozone days while Santa Fe County received a “C.” Data was not available to evaluate […]

NM congressional candidates take part in the New Mexico Black Voters Collaborative forum

Three candidates running in the race to fill the 1st Congressional district vacancy fielded questions on Tuesday night in the election’s first public forum. The New Mexico Black Voters Collaborative organized and moderated the forum, which took place just hours after a Minnesota jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek […]

FDA reverses decision on abortion medication mifepristone

After a year of legal fighting over mifepristone, the Food and Drug Administration has reversed itself, allowing the abortion medication to be prescribed during the COVID-19 pandemic through telehealth. The FDA, under the Donald Trump administration, would not allow mifepristone to be prescribed through telehealth, citing safety concerns, during the […]

The retired Escalante Power Plant may be converted into a hydrogen plant

When Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc. announced the closure of the Escalante Power Plant in 2020, McKinley and Cibola counties braced for the economic impacts of losing a major employer. But a possible new owner is hoping to breathe life back into the closed coal-fired generating station through a […]

State land commissioner says the office is nearing her goal for renewable energy development

When Stephanie Garcia Richard took the office of State Land Commissioner following the 2018 elections, she had the goal of tripling renewable energy development on state lands. “We are very rapidly closing in on that goal two years later,” Garcia Richard told NM Political Report. There were 453 megawatts of […]

Conflicting views on medical cannabis as a prescription

Amid a pending New Mexico Supreme Court case concerning medical cannabis taxes, one state cabinet official seems to have a different view on whether medical cannabis recommendations from medical professionals are the same as traditional prescriptions, at least when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine priority.  According to an email from […]

Federal lawmakers seek funds to plug orphaned oil and gas wells

Even though they aren’t actively producing oil or gas, orphaned wells can still spew climate-changing gases into the atmosphere and threaten water sources. U.S. Sen. Ben Ray Luján, a Democrat from New Mexico, said plugging these wells is an important step to protecting communities and can help put people back […]

Reversal of Trump gag rule on Title X funding proposed by the Biden administration

This week, the Joe Biden administration proposed to reverse a Donald Trump administration gag rule that affects how some family planning clinics provide abortion care information. Title X is a federal grant program that enables clinics to offer family planning services and preventive reproductive health care, primarily to low-income families […]

Court throws out challenge of Libertarian congressional candidate

A New Mexico state district judge ruled on Thursday that a Libertarian candidate for Congress will remain on the ballot for the June 1 special election to fill a 1st Congressional District vacancy.  Santa Fe judge Glenn Ellington ruled from the bench that claims challenging the validity of the Libertarian […]

Habitat Stamp Project funding requests range from riparian restoration to protecting elk habitat

Beaver once swam in Big Bear Creek in the Lincoln National Forest and built their dams in the area, which improved the ecosystem. But the semi-aquatic rodents have since abandoned that part of their range amid habitat loss. “We’ve lost a lot of the riparian vegetation, the biomass and species […]

With fewer people getting tested in clinics, Planned Parenthood expands at-home STI testing

Planned Parenthood clinics in New Mexico are expanding telehealth medicine to include testing for sexually transmitted infections at home. Adrienne Mansanares, Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains chief experience officer, said that since the COVID-19 pandemic, Planned Parenthood clinics are seeing fewer patients getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STI). […]

NM’s congressional race is on a tight deadline

In about three weeks, registered voters in the 1st Congressional District can start casting ballots to fill the vacant seat. The rushed and non-traditional nature of this election could prove difficult for the candidates.  Complicating issues, the state is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic that emerged last year, meaning […]

Medical cannabis producers call for increased plant limits

Just days after New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a recreational-use cannabis bill into law and less than 90 days before the law goes into effect, some in the existing medical cannabis industry want state officials to immediately increase the amount of cannabis they can grow.  A group of […]

Environmental group reaches settlement with Wildlife Services suit over animal killing policies

A federal agency kills thousands of wild animals annually through contracts aimed at protecting livestock and agriculture interests, but a conservation advocacy group hopes a new legal settlement will reduce the number of animals killed in New Mexico. The settlement comes after WildEarth Guardians sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s […]

Feds, state pause Johnson & Johnson vaccine administration

The state of New Mexico paused its distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine after reports of possibly related, very rare blood clots. The state made the announcement on Tuesday after recommendations by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the federal Food and Drug Administration citing […]

The two hospitals have similar infant death rates — until you look at extremely premature babies

It was morning shift change at Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In the neonatal intensive care unit, the lights were dimmed, as usual. People spoke in hushed tones typical of the NICU. But an arriving clinician knew immediately that something had gone wrong.

A “crash cart” carrying resuscitation equipment was positioned next to a newborn incubator, the enclosed cribs that keep preterm babies warm. Nurses stood nearby with grim expressions.

The incubator light illuminated an infant’s swollen, discolored belly.

Governor signs cannabis legalization into law

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday signed two bills that, together, legalize the use and possession of cannabis and expunge previous cannabis related criminal records.  “This legislation is a major, major step forward for our state,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement. “Legalized adult-use cannabis 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 […]

New Mexico is experiencing climate change in the form of drought

Hydrologist Katrina Bennett describes extreme weather events like droughts and floods as the way that human societies experience climate change. These events are immediately noticeable and can have rippling impacts, including economic repercussions. These events will become more frequent and intense amid climate change, according to a paper Bennett published […]

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

When following up on this story after the supposed award, NM Political Report learned that Youth United for Climate Crisis Action invented the fake award as a “creative hook” according to a spokesperson for the group. The governor’s office was not aware of the non-existent award from the non-existent group. […]

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, […]

UNM Health pauses vaccinations at The Pit because of low supply

Highlighting the nationwide shortage of COVID-19 vaccines, University of New Mexico Health System announced it would pause its mass vaccination location at The Pit in Albuquerque because of a lack of supplies. UNM said it would focus its supply on providing a second shot to those who already received their […]

Nondiscrimination bill to protect cultural hair and hairstyles receives unanimous support in Senate Education Committee

A nondiscrimination bill to protect cultural hairstyles in the workplace and school settings received bipartisan support in the Senate Education Committee Friday. The No School Discrimination for Hair bill passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee Friday. More than one state senator expressed shock that discrimination around cultural hair and […]

New Mexico bill to allow medical aid in dying clears first committee

Some say House Bill 37 would allow “death with dignity.” Others refer to the practice as doctor-assisted suicide. The controversial measure, which would allow doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill patients, has failed in previous legislative sessions in New Mexico. The 2021 version received its first committee endorsement […]

Climate Solutions Act would reduce emissions statewide

A group of Democratic legislators filed a proposal aimed at lowering the state’s carbon footprint and reducing emissions across sectors. Albuquerque Democratic Rep. Melanie Stansbury is the sponsor of HB 9, with Angelica Rubio, D-Las Cruces, and Speaker of the House Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, cosponsoring.  The Climate Solutions Act […]

State reports over 1,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday amid test increase

After nearly two weeks of reporting 1,000 or fewer cases, the number of COVID-19 cases reached 1,086 on Friday, with 22 additional deaths related to the disease. The cases on Friday caused a slight increase in the average number of reported cases over the last week, according to the Albuquerque […]

NM judge invalidates medical cannabis rules

A New Mexico state district court judge ruled on Thursday that rules adopted by the state’s Medical Cannabis Program last year are effectively invalid.  In his ruling, First Judicial District Court Judge Bryan Biedscheid repeatedly wrote that rule amendments promulgated by the Medical Cannabis Program last year lacked “substantial evidence” […]

Bills on community solar and air quality permit denials pass committees

The state Senate Conservation Committee passed a community solar bill Thursday after a lengthy debate and multiple amendment proposals. Legislators have introduced various community solar bills over the past years, but the newest version of the bill was drafted by a task force that was created during the last session.  […]

Republican House member, four others test positive for COVID-19

A Republican lawmaker in the New Mexico House of Representatives and four others at the Roundhouse have tested positive for the coronavirus. The new cases at the state Capitol come just two weeks into a 60-day legislative session that required everyone but lawmakers to receive weekly nasal COVID-19 tests to be […]

Payday too late: New Mexico bungled payday for hundreds of Medicaid caregivers

ALBUQUERQUE — Nearly every day for the past ten months, Lina, 23, has worked as a personal care assistant for Lisa Langrehr, a 60-year-old woman who is paralyzed on her right side. It’s been a full-time job for Lina — from 8 in the morning to 4 in the afternoon, […]

Transportation Department seeks $200 million for roadwork, $981 million total

State transportation crews tasked with maintaining and upgrading 31,000 lane miles of roadway are increasingly caught up in a trashier chore. Picking up rubbish. Up to 90,000 work hours are dedicated to the job each year, at a cost of about $3.2 million, Rick Padilla, executive director of highway operations […]

Two bills addressing paid sick leave will be rolled into one bill

After four hours of testimony on two bills that address paid sick leave, House Labor, Veterans and Military Affairs asked the sponsors of both bills to work to roll them into one. The two bills, HB 20  and HB 37, both mandate that employers in the state offer paid sick […]

City of Albuquerque tries to decertify a class action lawsuit for gender pay equity

The City of Albuquerque filed a motion last week to try to prevent a class action lawsuit that alleges gender pay discrimination. About 600 women joined four original plaintiffs in 2020 to create a class action lawsuit to seek redress for alleged gender pay discrimination. The original four plaintiffs filed […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/29/21 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 678 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, extending the streak of days with 1,000 or fewer cases. DOH […]

Bill to decriminalize abortion passes House committee

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill that would decriminalize abortion by a vote of 8 to 3, including one Republican who crossed the aisle. State House Rep. Phelps Anderson, a Republican from Roswell, sided with the seven Democrats on the committee who voted yes to HB […]

Open primary proposal advances from first committee

The Roundhouse had heartening news Wednesday for a growing number of New Mexico voters who aren’t affiliated with a major political party and would like the state to end a primary election system that excludes them. Lawmakers on the House of Representatives’ State Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/28/21 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. Seven counties reached the “yellow” benchmark and one remained in green, but many counties are approaching yellow status. Read more here. As of Tuesday, […]

Seven counties move to yellow restrictions from red, as drop in cases continues around the state

Seven counties moved from “red” to “yellow” in the state’s reopening criteria, while one county, Harding, remained green. This came on the same day that the state reported 755 new cases of COVID-19, and 27 additional deaths related to the disease. On Tuesday, the state reported 602 new cases and […]

Lujan Grisham delivers State of the State address, remotely

After a challenging year marked by grief brought on by a deadly pandemic, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered a hopeful vision for New Mexico during her annual State of the State address Tuesday, including a plan to get more students back into classrooms in less than two weeks. “Every school […]

Bills on clean fuel standard, air regulations and an environmental database clear first committees

Three environmental bills passed their first committees Tuesday. The Senate Conservation Committee passed two bills, one related to a clean fuel standard and the other related to improving air quality in the state, while the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee passed a bill to create an environmental database.  […]

Districts can return to in-person learning in early February

School districts will be able to start in-person learning, through a hybrid system, for students of all ages beginning on Feb. 8, Gov. Michelle Lujan Griaham announced during her State of the State address on Tuesday, declaring, “there’s no substitute for in-person learning.” The state will leave the decision up […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/27/21 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 announced 602 new cases of COVID-19 and 14 additional deaths related to the disease, as the average number of […]

WATCH: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s 2021 State of the State address

This year’s legislative session is like no other before it because of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has changed nearly every aspect of American life. One big change is that there was no large gathering of family, dignitaries and other political overserves on the first day of the legislative session to […]

Abortion ban repeal bill clears first hurdle Monday

Senate Bill 10, which would repeal the 1969 abortion ban on state law books, passed the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee 5-3 Monday. The vote fell along party lines with the three Republican state Senators voting against and the five Democrats on the committee voting in favor. After a […]

NM ready to expand vaccinations—if feds send more supply

Major hospital systems in New Mexico say that they are prepared to administer many more COVID-19 shots as they become available. But the nature of the supply chain is not only out of their hands, it’s out of the hands of the state, which relies on distribution from the federal […]

House passes rules to run a session during the COVID-19 pandemic

Republicans on Monday tried to battle against changes to to the way this year’s legislative session will run in the House of Representatives, but were stymied by a Democratic majority. Democrats hold a 45-25 advantage in the 70-member House of Representatives and voted to table or defeat several amendments proposed by […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/26/21 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 number of new COVID-19 cases continued to plummet, with just 494 new cases and twelve additional deaths. The 494 new cases were the […]

Governor to deliver remote State of the State on Tuesday

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is scheduled to deliver her State of the State address online Tuesday afternoon from her office in the Capitol, a week after COVID-19 concerns and tightened security surrounding the Roundhouse forced a postponement. The address will be devoid of the usual pomp and circumstance that usually comes […]

State reports just 494 new COVID-19 cases, lowest one-day total since October

The state Department of Health reported 494 new cases of COVID-19 and 12 related deaths on Monday. This was the lowest one-day total of newly reported cases since Oct. 18. Mondays typically have lower test counts than other days, though the total number of reported cases between Sunday and Monday […]

Advocates for abortion ban repeal start off first full week of New Mexico Legislature

Unlike 2019 when the New Mexico State Senate blocked repealing the 1969 abortion ban, more than half of the 2021 state Senate have signed on to cosponsor SB 10, this year’s effort. SB 10, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Lopez, D-Albuquerque, is a bill that will run parallel to HB […]

Lobbyists adjust to new reality of virtual session

Mark Duran spends virtually every day inside the New Mexico state Capitol during a 60-day legislative session. But now, Duran is learning to adapt to a virtual environment amid a pandemic that prompted state officials to move most lawmaking over to the internet and keep the building closed to the […]

Lawmakers will push once again for lobbyist reform

Lobbyists will be a topic of discussion during this year’s legislative session but won’t be physically present to make their case when lawmakers once again consider measures requiring greater disclosure about their advocacy efforts. They include requiring lobbyists or their employers to list the bills they lobbied on and the […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/25/21 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. The state of New Mexico reported 1,494 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and Sunday and 68 more deaths related to the disease. Read […]

1,494 new COVID-19 cases, 68 deaths over the weekend

State health officials reported 1,494 new cases of COVID-19 and 68 related deaths over the weekend. The state Department of Health identified 859 new cases of the disease and 38 deaths Saturday and 635 new cases and 30 deaths on Sunday.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases reported over […]

‘Tenacious’ Lundstrom leads key House budget committee

At 16, state Rep. Patty Lundstrom started her own business. An overnight success? Hardly. Her first venture failed miserably. “We were broke at the end of it,” the Gallup Democrat, now 60, recalled in a recent interview. “We had to close up shop two weeks early.” But the experience — […]

From the Navy to Senate Minority Leader

The ocean. Greg Baca had never seen anything like it. A product of desert terrain — he was born in Belen in 1971 — Baca looked out over the watery expanse of the Atlantic from the deck of the USS Nimitz and saw a whole new world around him. “It was […]

Growing Forward: Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth talks legalization

The New Mexico state Senate will likely start the official push for full cannabis legalization as late as next week, according to the top member of Democratic leadership.  Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe, said the Senate will not meet for its second floor session until Feb. 1, but […]

Parties clash in House rules debate

It took members of the House Rules and Order of Business Committee about four hours Friday to lay out the rules for how the House of Representatives will run this year’s legislative session. But it only took 90 minutes for Republicans and Democrats to accuse each other of launching attacks.  […]

Cases continue to fall, positivity rate also plummets

The state Department of Health reported 921 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 33 additional deaths related to the disease, a day after reporting 997 new cases and 35 additional deaths. The state has now reported fewer than 1,000 cases every day since Jan. 16. Bernalillo County had the […]

PNM wants customers to pay $300m to exit a coal plant

In November 2020, PNM announced it would leave the coal-fired Four Corners Power Plant by the end of 2024, seven years earlier than planned. The accelerated exit will bring an end to PNM’s coal assets in New Mexico two decades ahead of the clean energy mandate set forth in the […]

Rio Rancho, other school vaccine events canceled

The state Department of Health explained the cancellation of COVID-19 events for educators and school staff by saying the state was not in the part of Phase 1B where essential frontline workers could be vaccinated. A vaccination clinic for Rio Rancho Public Schools and others’ staff was scheduled for Friday, […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/22/21 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 997 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday with 35 additional deaths related to the disease. The number of […]

New Mexico Civil Rights bill could end qualified immunity as a civil defense

Speaker of the House Brian Egolf will introduce a bill that would amend the New Mexico Civil Rights Act. The bill would have two components. One is to allow citizens the ability to sue for compensatory damages and attorney fees against the state when their rights have been violated. Currently, […]

Multiple cannabis legalization bills expected during the NM Legislative session

New Mexico’s 2021 legislative session will surely be marked with debates over education issues, state finances and abortion rights. But the Legislature is also set to weigh the pros and cons of recreational-use cannabis. In recent years,  generally speaking, Democrats have pushed for legalization while Republicans have opposed it. This […]

Biden’s first day: Trump’s methane rule and U.S. rejoins Paris Agreement

President Joe Biden wasted no time in starting to tackle some of the country’s most pressing climate change issues after being inaugurated on Jan. 20. One of Biden’s first acts as president was to rejoin the U.S. to the Paris Agreement, a 2015 non-binding pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions […]

Lawmakers want to give local school boards the authority to open in-person learning

As state education officials continue to look for ways to safely reopen schools to students, Republican legislators want that power to be put in the hands of local school boards. “The goal is to try to get as many kids back into in-house schooling as soon as possible — safely,” said […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/21/21 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: Two reporters from NM Political Report will be on KUNM-FM’s “Let’s Talk New Mexico” show that begins at 8 a.m. on Thursday to […]

Biden becomes 46th President of the United States, pledges to seek unity

At 10:00 a.m. Mountain Standard Time, former Vice President Joe Biden officially became President of the United States. Minutes earlier, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden. It was a more subdued and smaller inauguration ceremony than those of years past, because of COVID-19 […]

COVID-19 cases continue to drop, though positivity rate ticks up

Note: Beginning this week, NM Political Report will report on the new number of cases each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The state updates COVID-19 numbers every day at https://cv.nmhealth.org.  The state Department of Health reported 884 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 34 additional deaths related to the disease. […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/20/21 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 Tuesday, the state of New Mexico reported 691 new cases of COVID-19 and twenty additional deaths related to the disease. This came with […]

New Mexico Legislature opens 2021 session with little pomp and circumstance

After all the concerns about a potential demonstration (or worse) interrupting the proceedings, the 2021 session of the New Mexico Legislature began quietly and peacefully Tuesday. At times, it didn’t seem like a session at all. Certainly not an opening like veterans have come to know. Yes, legislators trooped into […]

Gallup Democrat Muñoz will head powerful Senate Finance Committee

State Sen. George Muñoz hasn’t slept very well since he found out he had been selected to serve as chairman of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, an appointment that comes with as much influence as it does responsibility. “There are people in New Mexico that need help, and we’re going […]

Biden proposes sweeping immigration legislation on first day

The Joe Biden administration is expected to propose legislation that could forge a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants, including undocumented residents in New Mexico. President Biden released a fact sheet on his first day of office detailing an immigration bill that the nonprofit organization New Mexico Dream Team […]

NMED beings PFAS cleanup without military help

The New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) selected a contractor to begin clean up efforts for PFAS contamination identified at two Air Force bases in the state. The U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) use of a firefighting foam that contained PFAS compounds during training exercises caused the contamination. The foam was […]

Government argues Griffin should remain in detention ahead of trial because of ‘inflammatory, racist, and at least borderline threatening advocacy’

In a court filing on Tuesday, the federal government argued that Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin should remain in custody because of the danger he poses to the public, and “a disdain for legal authority.” Griffin is the leader of the political group Cowboys for Trump, a pro-Donald Trump group […]

Lawmakers poised to start a strange legislative session

The 2021 legislative session begins Tuesday at noon, against a bizarre backdrop that’s never been contemplated, much less seen. The Capitol building remains surrounded by fencing, concrete barriers and blocked roads. On Monday, it was guarded by state police officers and at least a dozen National Guard soldiers, who were […]

Lawmaker wants high-ranking administration positions to address Hispanic education

An Albuquerque lawmaker wants the state to do more to help Hispanic students who are falling behind.  Toward that end, Rep. Christine Trujillo, D-Albuquerque, plans to file a bill this week asking the state to appoint two assistant cabinet secretary positions for Hispanic education at both the K-12 and college levels. […]

Report outlines deficiencies in education for Native American students

While Native American students in New Mexico are showing improvement in graduation rates, third-grade reading and math proficiency, they continue to perform well below their peers on state and national measures of achievement. As a result, a report released Monday makes several recommendations to help close the gap. They include […]

Redistricting to be pushed back because of Census delays

New Mexico lawmakers hoping to tackle a major state redistricting plan in a September special session got some surprising news Monday.  They may have to wait until November or December, due to census data delays. Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff, whose company Research & Polling Inc. plans to help compile data […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/19/21 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 Department of Health reported just 628 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, though this came as the number of tests performed each […]

628 new COVID-19 cases, 26 additional deaths as test numbers drop

Note: Beginning this week, NM Political Report will report on the new number of cases each Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The state updates COVID-19 numbers every day at https://cv.nmhealth.org.  The state Department of Health reported 628 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 26 additional deaths related to the […]

Bill to establish Health Care Affordability Fund expected during legislative session

A bill designed to lower insurance premiums for state residents on the New Mexico health care exchange is expected to be filed for the 2021 Legislature. The bill is a priority for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and is still being drafted, so not all the details have been worked out. […]

County commissioner arrested in D.C. over role in Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol

The FBI arrested Otero County commissioner Couy Griffin, who is also the leader of a pro-Donald Trump political group, over his alleged role in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Griffin was arrested while in Washington D.C. on Sunday. An FBI affidavit quoted a video posted by […]

1,843 new COVID-19 cases, 58 additional deaths over the weekend

The state Department of Health reported 1,843 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend and 58 additional deaths related to the disease. DOH said there were 1,092 cases and 36 deaths on Saturday and 751 new cases and 22 additional deaths on Sunday. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases […]

An A-Z guide to the 2021 legislative session

The 2021 legislative session opens this week amid the most unusual circumstances imaginable: fences and barriers around a vulnerable Capitol building, plans for extensive online participation from lawmakers and even a suggested five-bill introduction limit in the state House of Representatives. And it hasn’t even gotten interesting. Yet. The 60-day […]

Renewable energy bills on tap for the 2021 session

The Legislature will be considering a handful of renewable energy-related legislation in the upcoming session. Here are some of the bills we’ll be watching.  Clean fuel standard: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that a clean fuel standard is one of her legislative priorities for the upcoming 60-day session. The fuel […]

Lawmakers and others want to make budget process more transparent

Susan Boe still remembers the surprise she felt when she discovered the door was locked. Looking through the small window of a legislative hearing room in the state Capitol, she could make out the members of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee within. She had been tipped off that they were […]

Lawmakers to introduce criminal justice reform bills

Attempts at criminal justice reform are not new for the New Mexico Legislature, but success in lessening criminal penalties and revamping processes has seen mixed results. But reform advocates and some lawmakers said they are confident this is the year criminal justice reform proposals will gain more traction and possibly […]

DOH: 1,266 new COVID-19 cases, 38 deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,266 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 38 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Friday, with 291. Doña Ana County with 190 was the only other county with over 100 newly reported cases. On […]

Environmental bills coming in the 2021 legislative session

With just one week away from the 2021 session, state legislators have prefiled over 120 bills. Here’s a glimpse of some of the environment-focused bills we’ll be watching.  The Green Amendment: State Senators Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque and Bill Soules, D-Las Cruces, are proposing an amendment to the New Mexico […]

NM cannabis producer sues state, claims retaliation

A prominent New Mexico medical cannabis producer filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the state Department of Health, alleging the department violated a previous court order and discriminated against the company regarding cannabis plant limits.   Albuquerque-based attorney Jacob Candelaria, who is also a New Mexico state senator, filed the motion on […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/15/21 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. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and top administration health officials spoke about the state’s vaccine efforts on Thursday. Read what she said here. You can […]

Governor, health officials discuss COVID-19 vaccine efforts

The governor and New Mexico health officials are optimistic that they have enough capacity to administer vaccines—with a bottleneck at the number of vaccines the state receives from the federal government. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham acknowledged that the state has also seen its fair share of hiccups, including an overwhelmed […]

DOH: 1,434 new cases of COVID-19 and 29 deaths Thursday

The state Department of Health reported 1,434 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 29 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Thursday, with 344. Doña Ana County with 166 and San Juan County with 155 were the two other counties with […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 1/14 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials will hold a press conference on Thursday at 3 p.m. to provide an update on COVID-19 in New Mexico. The press conference will also discuss the state’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Watch the entire press conference below, via the governor’s Facebook page.

Guv declares state of emergency as state prepares for ‘likely’ riots at government buildings

On Thursday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency over “likely” riots at the state capitol and other government buildings this weekend and through next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The governor cited last week’s “violent insurrection” at the U.S. Capitol and “credible intelligence that threats of […]

Legislators will again try to repeal antiquated abortion ban

With a new set of members in the state Senate, a bill to repeal the New Mexico 1969 abortion ban is expected to be filed in the upcoming New Mexico Legislature. Six Democrats who support abortion rights beat Republicans in November, in some cases after defeating anti-abortion Democrats in June’s […]

One county moves into “green” as state reports 1,151 new COVID-19 cases, 13 additional deaths

One New Mexico county moved to the “green” level of restrictions and another moved to yellow on Wednesday. The rest of the state’s counties are at the “red” level. Harding County moved to green level after meeting both of the state’s metrics on the number of cases per 100,000 residents […]

Trump impeached for second time

The U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach President Donald Trump for the second time, with two of the three representatives, both Democrats, in New Mexico’s delegation voting in favor of the historic vote on Wednesday. The House voted 237-197 to impeach Trump, saying that Trump incited violence and the […]

UNM to use The Pit as COVID-19 vaccination site

The University of New Mexico has not hosted a basketball home game at the iconic University Arena, known as The Pit, since early in 2020. But the arena will soon have crowds again for a very different reason, as University of New Mexico Health announced it would use the property […]

Legislators seek to reform drug laws

New Mexico lawmakers have tried to take on drug addiction and deadly overdoses for decades. During previous years, lawmakers from both major parties attempted to address opiate epidemics in the state through both increased penalties and more progressive measures.  This year, with not only a Democratic majority and a Democratic […]

Supreme Court brings back restrictions on medication abortion

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Tuesday to reinstate restrictions on the a medication abortion pill that allowed patients to receive it through the mail during the pandemic. The justices ruled 7 to 2 on the decision in favor of the U.S. Federal Drug Administration. The FDA has maintained a rule […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/13/21 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 893 new cases of COVID-19 and 30 additional deaths on Tuesday, the second straight day of fewer than […]

Second straight day of fewer than 1,000 COVID-19 cases in NM

The state of New Mexico had fewer than 1,000 reported cases of COVID-19 for the second straight day, possibly a sign that cases may be dropping, though the number of those hospitalized with the disease ticked up. The state Department of Health reported 893 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday […]

Guv quietly looks to expand export markets for natural gas

In July 2020, Gov.  Michelle Lujan Grisham signed onto a letter of support for a natural gas export facility being proposed in Baja California, Mexico. The letter, which was addressed to Mexico’s Energy Secretary Nahle Garcia, touted the facility as a potential “major North American west coast energy export hub” […]

DOH, hospital leaders talk about COVID-19 vaccine rollout, COVID-19 spread

As New Mexico looks to move to phase 1B of its COVID-19 vaccination plan, nearly 400,000 New Mexicans have signed up to get their name on the list, Health Secretary-designate Dr. Tracie Collins said in a press conference Monday. As of Monday, and citing information from 81 percent of providers, […]

Trump campaign drops election lawsuit nearly 70 days after election day

Donald Trump’s campaign dropped a lawsuit over the use of ballot drop boxes in New Mexico’s elections—part of the campaign’s nationwide, unsuccessful efforts to overturn election results after he lost his reelection bid.  The campaign filed the lawsuit in mid-December, weeks after the election and after the state had certified […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/12/21 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 Department of Health reported 933 new COVID-19 cases and 15 additional deaths on Monday. Read more details here. The DOH secretary-designate and leaders […]

933 new COVID-19 cases in NM on Monday, 15 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 933 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 15 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Monday, with 261. Doña Ana County was the only other county with 100 or more cases, with 102. DOH also […]

Before mob stormed the Capitol, days of security planning involved cabinet officials and President Trump

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. President Donald Trump met with top military officials and gave his approval to activate the D.C. National Guard three days before he encouraged a mob of angry […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/11/21 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. The state Department of Health reported 2,715 new cases of COVID-19 and 39 additional deaths related to the disease on Saturday and Sunday. Read […]

DOH: Over 2,700 new COVID cases, 39 additional deaths over the weekend

The state Department of Health reported 2,715 new cases of COVID-19 this weekend, along with 39 additional deaths related to the disease. DOH reported 1,507 new cases and 22 additional deaths on Saturday and 1,208 new cases and 17 additional deaths on Sunday. On Sunday, the department reported 682 individuals […]

New Mexican economists warn: Change course now

Later this month, New Mexico lawmakers will have another chance to fix an economic problem that has plagued the state for decades. “For at least 40 years people in the state government and the Legislature have known that they are overly dependent on oil and gas for state revenue,” says Jim […]

DOH: 1,645 new COVID-19 cases, 30 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,645 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 30 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Friday, with 430. Two other counties had 100 or more cases, Doña Ana County with 202 and San Juan County […]

State moves to phase 1B of vaccination plan

The state Department of Health released its plan on further vaccination efforts in the state, saying the state moved past phase 1A, which featured vaccinating frontline healthcare workers and residents and employees at long term care facilities, to phase 1B. Under phase 1B, those 75 years of age or older, […]

Domestic terrorism: A more urgent threat, but weaker laws

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. In the days leading up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol, the FBI received intelligence that extremists were planning violence as lawmakers gathered in Washington to […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/8/21 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. The number of newly reported cases in New Mexico continues to grow, with 1,841 new cases and 39 additional deaths reported on Thursday. More […]

Cases continue to grow: 1,841 new COVID-19 cases, 39 additional deaths on Thursday

The number of new COVID-19 cases in New Mexico continued to grow on Thursday, when the state Department of Health reported 1,841 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 39 additional deaths related to the disease. The seven-day average number of cases, according to calculations by the Albuquerque Journal, rose […]

Right-wing mob of Trump supporters takes over U.S. Capitol; NM and other lawmakers evacuated

Domestic terrorism. Insurrection. Insanity. That’s what elected officials from New Mexico called what happened when a mob of right-wing Trump supporters stormed and briefly took over the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, as the House and Senate were debating challenges to election results based on unfounded conspiracy theories about voter fraud. […]

Capitol rioters planned for weeks in plain sight. The police weren’t ready.

ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for The Big Story newsletter to receive stories like this one in your inbox. The invasion of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday was stoked in plain sight. For weeks, the far-right supporters of President Donald Trump railed on social media that […]

WPX settles with family over produced water spill

Penny Aucoin and her husband Carl George reached a settlement with the oil company WPX Energy over a pipe burst in early 2020 that drenched the family’s yard, pets and livestock with produced water.  In January 2020, Aucoin and George were awoken early one morning by the sound of a […]

DOH: 1,496 new COVID-19 cases, 47 deaths; second-most deaths in a single day

The state Department of Health reported 1,496 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 47 additional deaths related to the disease. The 47 deaths were the second-most reported in a single day since the start of the pandemic. The state reported 48 deaths on Dec. 17. Bernalillo County had the […]

Bill would halt new fracking permits while state conducts impact studies

State Senator Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, D-Albuquerque, plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would enact a four-year pause on fracking permits while studies are conducted to determine the impacts of fracking on agriculture, environment and water resources and public health.  The bill directs state agencies and […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/6/21 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 Tuesday, The state Department of Health reported 1,201 new cases of COVID-19 and 20 additional deaths related to the disease. Read more here. […]

DOH: 1,201 new COVID-19 cases, 20 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,201 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday and 20 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Tuesday, with 484. Two other counties had 100 or more newly reported cases: Doña Ana County with 117 and San […]

‘Last responders’ brace for surge in COVID deaths across US

Cindy Loose January 4, 2021 Funeral director Kevin Spitzer has been overwhelmed with covid-related deaths in the small city of Aberdeen, South Dakota. He and his two colleagues at the Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home have been working 12-15 hours a day, seven days a week, to keep up with the demand […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/5/21 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. On Monday, the state reported 936 new cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths. While it was under 1,000 new cases, recent days have […]

DOH: 936 new cases of COVID-19, 23 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 936 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and 23 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Monday, with 279. Doña Ana County was the only other county with 100 or more cases, with 116. On Monday, […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (1/4/21 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. Thanks everyone for the kind words over the break. We are back—the COVID newsletter could see some changes in scheduling over the next few […]

COVID disparities force a public health reckoning

The coronavirus feels the way it looks in widely circulated images, said Cleo Otero: like a thorn. “That’s how it felt inside my body, especially my lungs. It was painful. Like it was scratching the inside of your body. I could really literally feel the virus inside my body.”  Otero’s […]

DOH: 1,033 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths Sunday

The state Department of Health reported 1,033 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday and 17 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Sunday, with 345. Doña Ana County, with 131, was the only other county with more than 100 cases. On Sunday, […]

DOH: 1,252 additional COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths Saturday

Hed: DOH: 1,252 additional COVID-19 cases and 32 deaths Saturday The New Mexico Department of Health reported 1,252 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 32 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Saturday, with 268. Three other counties had 100 or […]

DOH: 1,286 new cases of COVID-19 and 25 additional deaths Friday

The state Department of Health reported 1,286 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday and 25 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Friday, with 316. Three other counties had 100 or more new cases: San Juan County with 155; Sandoval County with […]

NM judge rules medical cannabis use allowed while on house arrest

A New Mexico state district judge ruled this week that detainees in Bernalillo County’s house arrest program are allowed to use medical cannabis while serving out their sentence.   In her ruling, Second Judicial District Judge Lucy Solimon wrote that Bernalillo County’s Community Custody Program (CCP) is, in effect, the same […]

DOH: 1,684 new COVID-19 cases and 41 deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,684 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and 41 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Thursday, with 434. Four other counties had 100 or more new cases: San Juan County with 196; Sandoval County with […]

2020 Top Stories #1: The spread of COVID-19

It was clear since March that COVID-19 would be the top story of the year, for New Mexico and nationwide. If you look back at our list, COVID-19 touched on every topic this year. From the impact on the budget to the need for two special sessions, COVID-19 reshaped every […]

DOH: 1,316 new COVID-19 cases, 33 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,316 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and 33 additional deaths related to the disease. Also on Wednesday the state announced that one county, Catron County, met the criteria to operate at “yellow” level, which allows less restrictions than the other 32 counties that […]

2020 Top Stories #2: State budget impacts of pandemic, oil bust

State legislators finished the 2020 legislative session with a $7.6 billion budget in February that expanded spending 7.5 percent across the state’s departments, with more than 45 percent of all new recurring expenditures going toward what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called the “education continuum,” from early childhood programs to higher education. 

Then the pandemic hit in March, which brought the state’s economy to a grinding halt. And in April, a price war between Russia and Saudia Arabia drove the price of oil into negative territory for the first time ever. 

In May, a group of state economists from the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) warned that recurring revenues for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) could decline between $370 million to $480 million below forecasts from the previous year. That meant the state wouldn’t have enough money to cover FY20’s spending, the economists said. 

DOH: Over 1,200 new COVID-19 cases, 23 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported over 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday, the first time over that number in four days. The department also reported 23 additional deaths related to the disease and another increase in hospitalizations. The department reported 1,221 total new cases on Tuesday. Bernalillo County […]

2020 Top Stories #3: Black Lives Matter and social justice movements

See our entire countdown of 2020 top stories, to date, here. This year seemed to really pile on. Besides a contentious election and a worsening COVID-19 pandemic, New Mexicans saw numerous protests and pushes for social justice improvements.  This summer, groups like Black Lives Matter increased their presence and the […]

NM cannabis industry group gives priorities for a legalization bill

It is likely that the general public will not see drafts of recreational-use cannabis legalization proposals from the legislature until next month, but one group is already suggesting language and looking for a legislative sponsor.  The New Mexico Cannabis Chamber of Commerce publicly released an early of a recreational-use cannabis […]

DOH: 700 new COVID-19 cases, 36 additional deaths; hospitalizations increase again

The state Department of Health reported 700 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The department also reported 36 additional deaths related to the disease and another increase in hospitalizations. It was the third straight day that the state reported fewer than 1,000 new cases, though deaths continue to be at […]

2020 Top Stories #4: NM state Senate shifts left

See our entire countdown of top stories, to date, here. After a long battle that caused some long-time state lawmakers to lose their seats, the state Senate shifted left in 2020. Long-time state Senators John Arthur Smith in SD 35; President Pro Tem Mary Kay Papen in SD 38; Clemente […]

747 new COVID-19 cases, 30 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 747 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The department also reported 30 additional deaths related to the disease. It was the second straight day that the state reported fewer than 1,000 cases, though the holidays could impact who gets tested and how many tests […]

2020 Top Stories #5: COVID-19 in prisons

See our entire countdown of top stories, to date, here. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the lives of almost every New Mexican, including those locked up in jail or prison.  In April, just a month after New Mexico saw its initial cases of COVID-19, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office faced a […]

DOH reports 609 new COVID-19 cases and 9 deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) reported on Saturday 609 cases and nine related deaths.  Bernalillo County had 125 new cases and was the only county that had more than 100 new cases. Only two counties had more than 50 new cases: Doña Ana County (74) and San Juan […]

2020 Top Stories #10-#6

Note: Every year, we count down the top ten stories of the year, as voted on by NM Political Report staffers. See our entire countdown of 2020 top stories, to date, here. 10. Migrants in detention Although “Free Them All Friday,” a rally held by car at the Cibola County Correctional Facility in May tried to alert […]

State reports 1,465 new COVID-19 cases and 36 deaths

State health officials reported 1,465 new cases of COVID-19 on Christmas Day Friday. The state has now identified 136,622 cases of the disease since the start of the pandemic in March.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases, with 428. Three other counties had more than 100 new cases: San […]

DOH reports 1,927 new COVID cases, 29 deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 1,927 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday and 29 related deaths.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases with 487. DOH reported 293 in Chaves County, 259 cases in Doña Ana County, 133 cases in San Juan County and 101 cases in Sandoval. DOH […]

‘We’ve got a waste issue’: Groups press state for stricter methane rules despite budget concerns

Dave Rogers is a reverend in Carlsbad and founder of the group Citizens Caring For the Future. The group started, he said, out of concern in the community about the environmental and health impacts of oil and gas development that was booming in the New Mexico side of the Permian […]

State reports 1,174 new cases of COVID-19, 40 deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 1,174 new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday and 40 related deaths. The state has identified a total of 133,242 cases and 2,243 related deaths since the beginning of the pandemic in March.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases with 337. Only two other […]

COVID is pushing thousands of Chinese immigrant workers into the marijuana business—sometimes leading to exploitation and labor trafficking

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Irving Lin, a jovial entrepreneur in his late 60’s, wanted to share a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a near-miraculous way out of the economic devastation wrought on Southern California’s Chinese communities by the pandemic: the gift of marijuana. “We are making a fortune in Oklahoma, and you can […]

Lawyer for businesses ordered to close amid pandemic responds to state

A lawyer representing a group of businesses looking for compensation from the state after being ordered to shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic, filed on Tuesday a response to a brief from the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, filed earlier this month. 

The brief, filed by Albuquerque-based attorney Blair Dunn, is just one piece of a pending New Mexico Supreme Court Case filed by state Attorney General Hector Balderas on behalf of the state. The question facing the high court is whether businesses that were forced to close under emergency public health orders are due compensation by the state for lost business. 

NM reports 1,272 more cases of COVID-19 and 23 more deaths

New Mexico state health officials announced 1,272 more cases of COVID-19 and 23 additional deaths related to the disease on Tuesday. Among the 23 newly reported deaths were 3 inmates held by the state Corrections Department. Three of the newly reported cases were also inmates held by the state. 

As of Tuesday, the state has seen 132,075 total COVID-19 cases and 2,203 total deaths. 

State environmental regulators face thinner budgets amid pandemic and oil slump

New Mexico’s environmental and oil and gas regulators are facing budget cuts for the next fiscal year, as nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic and a significant downturn in the oil market has depleted the state’s budget.  The budget reductions come after years of attrition in regulatory budgets under the […]

NM continues slight downward trend, reports 826 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths

New Mexico health officials reported Monday an additional 826 cases of COVID-19 and nine additional deaths. 

Monday’s reported numbers seem to reflect a slight downward trend in cases and deaths, but also reflect a slight uptick in cases among inmates. Included in the latest reported cases were eight inmates held by the New Mexico Corrections Department. 

An anti-discrimination bill to help protect LGBTQ expected to be filed next month

An anti-discrimination bill to help protect the LGBTQ community in the state will be filed in January ahead of the state legislative session. State Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, is sponsoring the panic defense bill, which he introduced in the 2019 Legislature. That year, SB 159 passed two committees but Candelaria […]

NM reports 1,077 new cases of COVID-19, an additional 16 deaths

State health officials reported Sunday 1,077 additional cases of COVID-19 and 16 more related deaths. The latest numbers bring New Mexico to 129,933 total cases and 2,171 deaths.  The state Department of Health also reported on Sunday that there are 820 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 and 54,357 people have […]

DOH: 1,442 new cases, 27 additional deaths

State officials reported Saturday 1,442 new cases of COVID-19 and 27 more deaths related to the disease. The latest cases of COVID-19 also include 11 inmates held by the New Mexico Corrections Department and one inmate in federal custody. In total, New Mexico has recorded 128,930 cases of COVID-19 and […]

1,463 new cases of COVID-19, 31 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,463 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The department also reported 31 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Friday, with 418. Four other counties had 100 or more newly reported cases on Friday: Doña Ana […]

Voters would get to pick Haaland’s replacement in a special election

Almost as soon as the news came out that President-elect Joe Biden chose Deb Haaland as his choice to head the Interior Department, attention turned to what would happen to the 1st Congressional District seat. If Haaland is confirmed to the cabinet-level position and resigns from the U.S. House, it […]

Guv: Positive signs on COVID-19, including start of vaccinations, but still need to be vigilant

The state of New Mexico announced the most COVID-19 related deaths in a single day on Thursday, 48, continuing the trend of increasing deaths from the respiratory disease. “We must change this trajectory,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a press conference on Thursday.  She noted that it took 234 […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/18/20 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. In mid-March when we started putting together the COVID-19 newsletter, we could never have imagined that we would still be doing this update at […]

State reports single-day record number of deaths, 1,702 new cases of COVID-19

New Mexico Department of Health reported 48 deaths related to COVID-19 Thursday, the highest number of deaths reported in a single day for the state since the pandemic began in March. New Mexico has now lost 2,097 individuals to the virus.  New Mexico reached the grim milestone of 1,000 deaths […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 12/17 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials will hold a press conference on Thursday at 3 p.m. to provide an update on COVID-19 in New Mexico. This comes as the state starts to see its first batch of vaccinations go out to frontline healthcare professionals, but cases and deaths remain well […]

Report: Biden chooses Haaland for Interior Secretary

President-elect Joe Biden will name Deb Haaland as his nominee to head the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to a report by the Washington Post on Thursday, ending weeks of rumors and pushes by various factions in the form of anonymous quotes and leaks. If confirmed, Haaland would be […]

Nonprofit groups put new independent expenditure law to the test

After a decade-long effort, New Mexico lawmakers passed new campaign reporting requirements in 2019 to force nonprofit groups, which can spend money on political campaigns without registering as political committees, to disclose their spending as well as the names, addresses, and contribution amounts of their donors who fund such “independent […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/17/20 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: The daily COVID-19 newsletter will take a vacation from Dec. 21 until Jan. 4.  The state Department of Health announced on Wednesday 1,816 […]

DOH: 1,816 new COVID-19 cases, 43 new deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,816 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The department also reported 43 additional deaths related to the disease. The 43 deaths matched the third-most in a single day, on Dec. 11, and was just one behind the record of 44, which happened twice, on […]

State eases capacity restrictions on grocery stores, big box stores

Grocery stores and some big box stores will be allowed to have more customers inside beginning on Wednesday, thanks to a newly amended public health order. This, the state indicated, would alleviate lines outside of grocery stores as cold and wintry weather continues across the state. The governor’s office made […]

Yazzie-Martinez plaintiffs want court to order state to address remote learning issues

The plaintiffs in a lawsuit over educational resources in New Mexico filed a request with the First Judicial District Court on Wednesday to order the state to provide computers and high-speed internet access to thousands of at risk students who lack tools for remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. An […]

State Health Secretary-designate talks about the start of vaccine distribution in NM

State Health Secretary-designate Tracie Collins, in her second official day in the position, provided an update on the more-than 17,500 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine that have been sent to New Mexico, the first step in the massive undertaking to provide the new vaccine to the vast majority of […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/16/20 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: The daily COVID-19 newsletter will take a vacation from Dec. 21 until Jan. 4.  The state of New Mexico crossed yet another grim […]

State crosses 2,000 COVID-19 deaths, with 28 additional deaths reported Tuesday

The state of New Mexico announced Tuesday that the number of COVID-19 deaths have now crossed 2,000 since the start of the pandemic. The state Department of Health reported 1,275 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The department also reported 28 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had […]

Land owners tout conservation but oppose ‘Wild and Scenic’ designation for Gila

Howard Hutchinson bought his first parcel of land in southwestern New Mexico near the Gila Wilderness in the 1970s.  “I hitchhiked into here in 1973. And I said, ‘Wow, paradise. This is awesome. This is where I want to live to raise my family,’” Hutchinson told NM Political Report.  At […]

Supreme Court rules in favor of NM in water evaporation case

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday morning in favor of New Mexico in a water dispute case with Texas involving the Pecos River Compact. The court denied a motion to review the Pecos River Master’s decision regarding evaporative losses that occurred while New Mexico was storing water upstream for Texas.  […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/15/20 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: The daily COVID-19 newsletter will take a vacation from Dec. 21 until Jan. 4.  The first batch of COVID-19 vaccines started to make […]

First vaccine rolls out in New Mexico Monday

The first  batch of COVID-19 vaccines have already arrived in New Mexico. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe received its first shipment of the first COVID-19 vaccine Monday. Christus St. Vincent was one of 145 hospitals in the country to receive the vaccine Monday, according to the […]

Trump campaign files suit to overturn NM’s election results, even after they were certified and electoral votes were cast

After losing New Mexico by nearly 100,000 votes and over 11 percentage points, and the same day the state voted to cast its electoral votes for Democratic nominee Joe Biden, the Donald Trump campaign filed a lawsuit that seeks to invalidate thousands of votes and asked a federal judge to […]

DOH: 1,507 new COVID-19 cases, 21 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,507 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The department also reported 21 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Monday, with 459. Two other counties had 100 or more cases: Doña Ana County (140) and San […]

It’s official: NM casts electoral votes for Biden

New Mexico’s five electoral votes formally were cast for Joe Biden on Monday. The five electors, all wearing masks, gathered for the socially distanced occasion in Room 307 in the Roundhouse, on Monday morning. The votes that take place in every state across the country are typically an unnoticed event […]

Why energy companies are drilling for a greenhouse gas in New Mexico

Trapped underground in the sandstone of northeastern New Mexico sits one of the largest naturally occurring carbon dioxide reservoirs in the nation called the Bravo Dome.  The 1,400 square mile gas field in rural Harding and Union counties is one of a handful of its kind in the United States. […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/14/20 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 over 5,100 new COVID-19 cases and 111 deaths related to the disease over the last three days. DOH reported 1,849 cases […]

DOH reports 44 additional deaths, matching one-day high, 1,459 new COVID-19 cases

The state Department of Health reported 1,459 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The department also reported 44 additional deaths related to the disease. It matched the most single-day numbers of deaths, equal with December 3. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Sunday, with 459. Two other […]

NM officials report 1,803 new cases of COVID-19, 24 more deaths

New Mexico health officials announced Saturday 1,803 new cases of COVID-19 and 24 more deaths related to the disease. Among the newly reported cases were 30 inmates held by the state Corrections Department. The state has now seen 118,358 total cases and 1,913 total deaths.  Bernalillo County again leads the […]

Can New Mexico field enough inspectors to curb its massive methane leaks?

The oil fields of the Permian Basin in southeast New Mexico are quieter since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But that hasn’t made the job any easier for oil field inspectors. As a staff manager and inspector with the New Mexico Oil Conservation Division (OCD), Gilbert Cordero spends his days driving […]

DOH: 43 new deaths, second-most in a single day, 1,849 new COVID-19 cases

The state Department of Health reported 1,849 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday. The department also reported 43 additional deaths related to the disease. This was the second-most amount of deaths reported in a single day, only below the 44 reported on Dec. 3. Bernalillo County had the most newly […]

NM AG signs onto brief opposing TX suit that seeks to overturn presidential election

Update: The Supreme Court dismissed the case on Friday. The story, as originally written, continues below. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas signed onto an amicus brief from the New York Attorney General opposing a Texas lawsuit that seeks to invalidate the election results in four states won by Democrat […]

Reset helped but recent ‘uptick’ worrisome, officials say

Although cases of COVID-19 dropped due to what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham calls the “reset,” she encouraged the state to “stay the course” through the holidays. New Mexico Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase, who joined Lujan Grisham remotely for the press conference aired over social media Wednesday, said the […]

NM Prison and Jail project launches, files first lawsuit against the state

A new, local non-profit organization aiming to advocate for the civil rights of those incarcerated in New Mexico launched Thursday and announced a lawsuit against the New Mexico Corrections Department.  The New Mexico Prison and Jails Project announced that it filed a lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the state Corrections Department […]

NM court rules DOH can limit medical cannabis reciprocity through rules

A state district court judge ruled Thursday that the New Mexico Department of Health is allowed to limit who can become a reciprocal medical cannabis patient through department rules.  First Judicial District Court Judge Matthew Wilson said that his previous order to stop the department from proceeding with an emergency […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/11/20 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. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and HSD Secretary Dr. David Scrase said the recent two-week “reset” helped, but that they’re still concerned about the level […]

DOH: 1,719 new cases of COVID-19, 23 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,791 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday. The department also reported 23 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo County had the most newly reported cases on Thursday, with 621. Four other counties had 100 or more cases: San Juan County (180), McKinley County […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 12/10 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held a press conference on Thursday to provide an update on COVID-19 in New Mexico. Earlier on Thursday, the state announced it would pause elective surgeries and allow more physicians and other health care workers to treat COVID-19 patients. Watch the full press conference, […]

NM allows crisis standards of care, pauses elective surgeries

Citing overwhelmed hospitals, the state Department of Health issued new amendments to the state public health orders that will allow hospitals to operate under crisis standards of care regarding credentialing processes for COVID-19 health providers and another that would delay many elective surgeries until at least January. Acting Health Secretary […]

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Task Force finds gaps in data

Tiffany Reid, Diné (Navajo) went missing in 2004. She was 17. Law enforcement has still not entered her case into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), her cousin, Becky Johnson, said. Johnson is a member of the state Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR) Task Force established by […]

NM auditor finds ‘red flags’ in MLK Jr. Commission finances

A state commission that is tasked with promoting the values of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. continually failed to rectify financial improprieties and inconsistencies, according to the New Mexico Office of the State Auditor.  State Auditor Brian Colón sent a letter on Monday to New Mexico Martin Luther King Jr. […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/10/20 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 3,030 new cases of COVID-19 and 67 additional deaths over the previous two days. Read more details here. […]

DOH: 3,030 new COVID-19 cases, 67 deaths over the last two days

The state Department of Health reported 3,030 new cases of COVID-19 in the last two days. The department also reported 67 additional deaths related to the disease in the last two days. The state did not report results on Tuesday because of a network outage with the state’s internet system. […]

Hospitals expected to begin rationing care before end of the month, say officials

New Mexico has a record-breaking 1,007 individuals in the hospital, according to New Mexico Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase. Scrase provided that number during a webinar Tuesday to discuss more in-depth the crisis standard of care. The state experienced technical difficulties, which meant that the event was not aired […]

NM argues against compensating businesses impacted by emergency public health orders

The state of New Mexico, through the state Attorney General’s Office, filed a brief on Monday with the New Mexico Supreme Court that argued the emergency public health orders do not warrant compensation to business owners.  The brief is the latest in a pending state Supreme Court case spurred by […]

Udall in farewell to the Senate: ‘The Senate is broken. And it’s not working for the American people’

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall gave his farewell speech from the Senate floor Tuesday, as he approaches the end of his 12 years in the U.S. Senate. Udall delivered a series of calls to action in his remarks and criticized the Senate for inaction on a wide range of issues, from […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/09/20 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. A key state official said hospitals will likely have to start rationing care by the end of the month because of the number of […]

No COVID-19 update on Tuesday because of internet outage

The state Department of Health announced that there would not be an update on new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday because of a state government internet network outage that impacted the department’s electronic laboratory reporting system. DOH continues to alert those who have tested positive for COVID-19 and conduct contact tracing, […]

Pearce reelected as NM GOP chairman

Steve Pearce was reelected as the Republican Party of New Mexico state chair Monday night. Pearce was one of four people running, including Albuquerque conservative radio personality and station owner Eddy Aragon.  The party said that Pearce won by 29 votes, though an earlier tally—which the party said was incomplete […]

Hospital leaders warn rationing of care nears if hospitalizations rise

Local hospital leaders pleaded with New Mexicans to do their part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 to avoid a last-case scenario: rationing care. In a press conference on Monday, leaders from the University of New Mexico Hospital, Lovelace and Presbyterian said they remain stretched beyond normal capacity for […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/08/20 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. Leaders of the largest hospitals in Albuquerque said that if things don’t improve, they’ll have to start rationing care. Read more from NM Political […]

1,872 new COVID-19 cases, seven additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,872 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The department also reported seven additional deaths related to the disease. On Monday, the department reported 935 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of 16 people since Sunday. This could include those from other states who […]

A bill to establish paid family and medical leave will be filed in January

A bill to create paid family and medical leave for all employees in the state is slated to be filed in January. The bill would allow employees to take up to 12 weeks per year of paid leave for a serious medical issue, bringing home a new child or to […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/07/20 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 5,255 new COVID-19 cases this weekend: 2,080 on Friday, 1,925 on Saturday and 1,250 on Sunday. The state […]

The state reports 1,250 cases of COVID-19 Sunday and 11 deaths

The state Department of Health announced 1,250 cases of COVID-19 Sunday and 11 additional related deaths. This brought the total number of cases to 108,088 and the total number of related deaths to 1,749. The zip code with the most additional cases Sunday was 87121 with 99. It is west […]

Fewer New Mexicans than estimated will qualify for one-time unemployment check

Debates among New Mexico lawmakers over the best way to use federal relief funds is likely far from over. Last week, the state’s Legislative Finance Committee (LFC) learned that the estimated number of New Mexicans to receive a one time bump in their unemployment benefits will likely be anywhere from […]

Nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19, 32 deaths

New Mexico Department of Health officials reported Saturday 1,925 new cases of COVID-19 and 32 related deaths.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases with 506. Seven other counties had more than 100 new cases of COVID-19. Those counties were Doña Ana County (183), San Juan County (166), Chaves County […]

NM reports more than 2k new COVID-19 cases, more than five dozen among inmates

New Mexico state health officials announced Friday another 2,080 COVID-19 cases and 33 related deaths. Officials also reported 66 more cases of the disease among inmates held by the state Department of Corrections and 2 more cases among those detained by federal agencies.  As of Friday there were 934 people […]

EPA announces ‘interim strategy’ for addressing PFAS in wastewater

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released what it’s calling an “interim strategy” for addressing PFAS chemical contamination in wastewater discharges regulated through the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting process. While the vast majority of states in the U.S. have taken over NPDES permitting authority from EPA since the […]

An anti-discrimination bill to protect Black hair and hairstyles will be prefiled in January

Albuquerque resident Kyana Sanchez said a teacher last year told her that her box braids might be a health code violation. Rio Rancho resident Niara Johnson said she has been petted, as if she were an animal. These were just a few of the personal stories that a group of […]

NM hits new record for COVID-19 deaths in one day

State health officials announced Thursday an additional 1,908 cases of COVID-19 and 44 more related deaths, the most reported cases in one day, so far. The state has now seen 102,862 total cases and 1,673 total COVID-19 related deaths. State officials also reported that 947 people are currently hospitalized with […]

Political ‘retribution’: The DOI rejected 100% of New Mexico’s proposed LWCF projects

After cheering the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act, which secured permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), New Mexico wildlife and conservation advocates were shocked to learn every single project proposed to the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) for LWCF funds was rejected.  The LWCF, […]

New Mexico surpasses 100,000 cases and reports record-breaking 40 deaths from COVID-19 Wednesday

New Mexico became the 37th state to record 100,000 cases in total for COVID-19 and the state announced a record-breaking 40 deaths Wednesday related to the illness. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a statement in response, saying that the state is “headed for a painful winter.” “Today alone we lost […]

A Black life ends in a New Mexico police shooting

Rodney Applewhite, 25, was driving through New Mexico late last week on his way to Arizona to spend Thanksgiving with his mother and other family members.  Just outside of Los Lunas, on the last leg of a trip that started in South Bend, Indiana, a New Mexico State Police officer […]

DOH again reports over 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, over 20 deaths

The state Department of Health reported 2,330 new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday. The department also reported 21 additional deaths related to the disease. On Tuesday, the department reported 909 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of 33 people since Monday. This could include those from other states who […]

Growing Forward: Holiday Leftovers

This week marks the final episode of Growing Forward’s first season. This week, we talk about some of the things we didn’t get to in subsequent episodes.  One of those issues is banking. Over the years, as states began legalizing both medical and recreational-use cannabis, there have been numerous reports […]

Governor discusses ‘red to green’ framework

In a press conference on Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. David Scrase went over the new tiered “red to green” COVID-19 framework that the state will enter on Dec. 2, following the end of the two-week lockdown “reset.” 

“This, we believe, is a mechanism that will allow New Mexico to sort of move through the virus, protect New Mexicans [and] provide a little bit of more economic certainty for the entire state as a whole,” Lujan Grisham said during the remote press conference. 

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (12/01/20 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: This will be another short week for the COVID-19 daily recap, because of a vacation starting Wednesday. In a press conference on Monday, Gov. […]

Support NM Political Report this Giving Tuesday

This year, we saw the importance of good, reliable, respected news.  NM Political Report has been a respected news organization in the state for nearly six years now. We first started publishing stories in January 2015. And that extended through this year’s elections that saw a major shift in the […]

DOH: 1,684 new COVID-19 cases, 28 newly reported deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,684 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday. The department also reported 28 additional deaths related to the disease. On Monday, the department reported 876 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, a decrease of 43 people since Sunday. This could include those from other states who […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 11/30 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials will held a news conference Monday to discuss COVID-19 in the state and the state’s new “red to green” county-by-county process for reopening. See our recap of the press conference below. The press conference happened hours after leaders of Albuquerque hospitals said they […]

Hospital leaders warn of growing hospitalizations: ‘We are really totally full’

Leaders from three hospitals in Albuquerque continued to ask New Mexicans to abide by COVID-19-safe practices and warned that hospitals are full—and that they expect to see another big jump in confirmed cases in the coming weeks after the Thanksgiving holiday. Dr. Jason Mitchell, the Presbyterian chief medical officer, said […]

Bill to introduce paid sick leave is timely, say advocates

Albuquerque resident Iman Andrade got worried when the pandemic began in mid-March. She delivered pizzas for a living earlier this year and the staff making and delivering the pizzas make minimum wage. They came in sick because they had to, she said. “My experience as a worker, as a driver, […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/30/20 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: This will be another short week for the COVID-19 daily recap, because of a vacation starting Wednesday. The case counts in New Mexico […]

DOH: 1,443 new COVID-19 cases, 13 additional deaths and big spike in hospitalizations

The state Department of Health reported 1,443 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. The department also reported 23 additional deaths related to the disease. On Sunday, the department reported 919 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an increase of 65 since Saturday. This could include those from other states who are […]

DOH: Over 2,100 new COVID-19 cases again, 23 new deaths

The state Department of Health reported 2,142 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday. The department also reported 23 additional deaths related to the disease. On Saturday, the department reported 854 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, a decrease of 20 since Friday. This could include those from other states who are […]

State announces details of county-by-county reopening

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and the state Department of Health announced on Friday the details of the state’s “red to green” reopening system for counties. The system, which will go into place on Dec. 2 when the current two-week “reset” with a shutdown of in-person business at non-essential workplaces is […]

NM hits another COVID-19 record, Department of Health reports 35 more deaths

New Mexico health officials announced Friday 2,076 new COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths related to the disease. This brought the total number of cases in New Mexico to 91,852 and 1,504 total deaths.  

The 35 deaths were the most in a single day in New Mexico. 

DOH: 1,708 new cases of COVID-19, 18 new deaths

The state Department of Health reported 1,708 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, the second-straight day of fewer than 2,000 cases. The department also reported 18 additional deaths related to the disease On Thursday, the department reported 880 individuals were hospitalized for COVID-19, an decrease of 17 since Wednesday. This […]

DOH reports lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in over a week, but hospitalizations continue to rise

The state of New Mexico reported fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time in over a week. The state Department of Health announced 1,873 new cases of the disease on Wednesday, the fewest in a single day since Nov. 16. The department also reported 23 new deaths […]

Lujan Grisham signs COVID-19 relief package into law

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed the $330 million COVID-19 relief package into law on Wednesday, less than a day after the Legislature passed the package in a one-day special session. The bill includes funds to provide more aid for small businesses, the unemployed and more money for COVID-19 testing, contact […]

Legislature passes COVID relief bill during quick special session

The New Mexico State Legislature passed a COVID-19 relief bill that would provide over $300 million in relief provided by the federal CARES Act in a very short special session that lasted less than eight hours. The bill included $194 million to provide $1,200 for those who qualify for unemployment […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/25/20 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 big news from Tuesday was the fast special sessions that included hundreds of millions of dollars in relief funds for impacted businesses, unemployed […]

DOH: Another 2,107 COVID-19 cases, another high number of deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 2,107 new cases of COVID-19 and 28 additional deaths related to the disease. It was the seventh straight day the state reported 2,000 or more cases. Just over a quarter of all the cases, 541, came from Bernalillo County. Five other counties had […]

NM certifies election results, including Biden’s win in the state

On Tuesday, the New Mexico canvassing board certified the general election results from earlier this month, making the winners of races—including the presidential race—official, except for some races that require recounts. The state canvassing board—a three-person panel with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver and New […]

Hospitals under contingency plans, worry about post-holiday surge pushing them to crisis mode

In a weekly press conference, hospital leaders in Albuquerque said they are currently operating under contingency operations and if things don’t improve in New Mexico, would have to shift to crisis care. To avoid this, they all encouraged New Mexicans to follow COVID-safe practices, including avoiding gatherings, like family celebrations […]

DOH and Medical Cannabis Program ordered back to court over reciprocity issue

The New Mexico Department of Health and its Medical Cannabis Program have two weeks to convince a state district court judge that the department and program should not be sanctioned for violating a court order.  The order is the latest in a legal battle between medical cannabis producer Ultra Health […]

Growing Forward: A trip to a dispensary and manufacturing facility

In this week’s episode of Growing Forward, we took a field trip.  Co-host Megan Kamerick and I visited both a dispensary and a cannabis manufacturing facility to learn more about how medical cannabis patients in New Mexico get their medicine and to learn about some extraction processes.  Our first stop […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/24/20 edition)

U.S. Army 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: There will not be COVID-19 recap emails on Thursday or Friday because of the holiday.  The state Department of Health reported 2,259 […]

DOH: 2,259 new COVID-19 cases in NM, 17 new deaths

The state Department of Health reported 2,259 new cases of COVID-19 and reported seventeen additional deaths related to the disease on Monday. This was the sixth consecutive day of more than 2,000 cases, as the state is now halfway through a two-week “reset” where in-person work has been closed at […]

‘This has got to stop’: Indigenous activists decry lingering contamination decades after the last uranium mines closed

Thursday night, a group of Indigenous community leaders gave presentations about the legacy of uranium mining in the state that still threatens the health and environment of their communities, decades after the last mines ceased operations.  From the 1940s through the early 1990s, New Mexico produced roughly 70 percent of […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/23/20 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: There will not be COVID-19 recap emails on Thursday or Friday because of the holiday.  The state Department of Health reported nearly 8,000 […]

NM has record high number of deaths, nearly 2,500 new COVID-19 cases

New Mexico public health officials reported 2,468 new cases of COVID-19 and 33 additional deaths related to the disease. The 33 deaths were the most reported in a single day during the pandemic. New Mexico has reported at least 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 for five consecutive days, including one […]

NM Supreme Court again faced with COVID-19 in prisons, Guv says there is not much else that can be done

As the number of COVID-19 cases and related deaths in New Mexico continue to increase throughout the state and the state is halfway through a two week stay-at-home order, criminal justice advocates continue to push Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to do more to reduce prison populations.  There have been two attempts […]

NM officials report more than 2k new COVID-19 cases, 25 new deaths

The number of COVID-19 cases continued to skyrocket Saturday after state health officials reported 2,353 new cases and 25 related deaths. According to the update by health officials, there are 825 people currently hospitalized with COVID-19 and 28,574 have been deemed recovered from the disease.  Bernalillo County again significantly outpaced […]

NM Senate Dems pick leadership, make choice for pro tem nominee

New Mexico Senate Democrats picked their leadership Saturday and made their nomination of who they want in the Senate president pro tem spot.  The majority party in the Senate picked Sen. Mimi Stewart of Albuquerque as their choice for pro tem, but the full Senate will still vote when they […]