News Clips

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 reversed 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 […]

Once the Wild West, Las Vegas is now the wired West as parents and kids cope with a life lived online.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. — “I don’t like school, because it’s not real,” declared Colin Atman, age 6. The first-grader had a good point. Before the pandemic, Colin could dash around his Las Vegas school playground with his friends James and Damian, playing tag or a game called zombie. “I was, […]

Nearly 3,000 new COVID-19 cases, 23 additional deaths

The state Department of Health reported nearly 3,000 newly found cases of COVID-19 and 23 newly reported deaths related to the disease. Of the new cases, over one-third, 1,005, were from Bernalillo County. Seven other counties had 100 or more cases: Doña Ana County (281), Sandoval County (191), Santa Fe […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham announces special session date, plans on a $300 million relief package

During a weekly news conference with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham about COVID-19, the governor covered the usual topics and encouraged people to stay home and wear masks.  But likely the biggest news was that Lujan Grisham has a date planned for a special legislative session.  “I’m happy to announce right […]

Republicans try to cast doubt on NM presidential results after Biden won by 11 points

Less than a week before New Mexico certifies its election results, President Donald Trump’s political team said there are allegations of voter fraud in the state, even as the state’s post-election process to verify and audit results moved forward. Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani made the allegations as part of a […]

Tension among Democrats over pro tem race

The alleged involvement of a progressive political group in the race for state Senate president pro tem seems to be causing some consternation among some New Mexico Senate Democrats.    According to sources familiar with the Senate Democratic Caucus, state Sen. Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, announced during a recent caucus meeting […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/20/20 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 announced yet another record number of COVID-19 cases on Thursday, this time with more than 3,600 new cases. The state also announced […]

State reports more than 3,600 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths

New Mexico Department of Health officials announced 3,674 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, blowing past the record-setting 2,897 cases that were reported just Wednesday.  Several counties reported new records in single-day increases in cases of the disease. Over a thousand new cases were identified in Bernalillo County alone, and […]

Commission chooses four potential choices for state Supreme Court slot

The New Mexico Judicial Nomination Commission recommended a list of four names from which Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham can choose a replacement for Justice Judith Nakamura, who announced she retire, effective Dec. 1. The commission chose the four applicants after interviews with each candidate on Thursday and closed-door discussion between […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 11/19 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held their regular press conference on COVID-19 on Thursday. The press conference came as cases in the state continue to grow and the governor ordered a two-week shutdown for nonessential businesses that began on Monday. Read our recap of the press conference here.

Sen. Heinrich wants to protect the Pecos watershed from future mining

The Pecos watershed is home to some of the state’s most pristine riparian habitat, but Lela McFerrin, vice president of the Upper Pecos Watershed Association, is worried that a proposal to drill new mines in the area will threaten the creeks, streams and drainages that make up the headwaters of […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/19/20 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. Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/18/20 edition)The massive increase in COVID-19 cases shows no signs of slowing. The state set a new record […]

Big box stores have further restrictions, but closed businesses allowed curbside pickup, delivery

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced an amendment to the state’s public health order that would change restrictions for big box stores in an attempt to make sure only the most essential businesses are able to have in-person services, but also to allow others to operate curbside or delivery services. The […]

New Mexico’s COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket: 2,897 new cases, 26 deaths

New Mexico’s COVID-19 case numbers continued their rapid rise, hitting another new single-day record as of Monday, when the state reported nearly 2,900 new cases of the disease, along with 26 new deaths. New Mexico health officials now have identified over 70,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of […]

A leadership shakeup among NM Senate Republicans

New Mexico state Senate Republicans saw a somewhat unexpected leadership shake-up Tuesday.  Senate Republicans announced Tuesday evening that Sen. Greg Baca of Belen was elected as the Senate Minority Leader over Sen. Stuart Ingle, who had been minority leader since 2001.  In 2016, Baca defeated incumbent Michael Sanchez, a Democrat […]

Reproductive activist recalls time before Roe v. Wade: ‘It was the scarlet A’

Janet Gotkin, a long-time feminist, activist and volunteer for the Santa Fe chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW), wants to break the silence and stigma around women’s reproductive healthcare. Gotkin remembers a time when young women had unsafe abortions. She also told NM Political Report about when she […]

Concerned leaders hopeful Biden administration will address PFAS contamination

In the first year of the Trump presidency, Michigan U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell asked Catherine McCabe, who was serving as Administrator to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for a drinking water standard for PFAS chemicals. “Promises were made,” Dingell said during a panel talk Tuesday. “Four years later, promises were […]

Rapid testing is less accurate than the federal government wants to admit

The promise of antigen tests emerged like a miracle this summer. With repeated use, the theory went, these rapid and cheap coronavirus tests would identify highly infectious people while giving healthy Americans a green light to return to offices, schools and restaurants. The idea of on-the-spot tests with near-instant results was an appealing alternative to the slow, lab-based testing that couldn’t meet public demand.

By September, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had purchased more than 150 million tests for nursing homes and schools, spending more than $760 million. But it soon became clear that antigen testing — named for the viral proteins, or antigens, that the test detects — posed a new set of problems. Unlike lab-based, molecular PCR tests, which detect snippets of the virus’s genetic material, antigen tests are less sensitive because they can only detect samples with a higher viral load. The tests were prone to more false negatives and false positives. As problems emerged, officials were slow to acknowledge the evidence.

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/18/20 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. New Mexico health officials reported single-day highs in new COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations on Tuesday, as the virus continues to spread. The number […]

NM part of Pfizer’s pilot program for COVID-19 vaccine

While widespread distribution is still months away, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced that New Mexico would be one of four states to participate in a pilot delivery program for the distribution of its COVID-19 vaccine, though this does not mean the state will receive doses of the vaccine before other areas. […]

2,112 new COVID-19 cases, 28 new deaths, both single-day records as hospitalizations continue to grow in NM

New Mexico health officials reported more new cases of COVID-19 and more deaths related to the disease in a single day than ever before. The 2,112 new cases of COVID-19 in a single day were the first time the state reported more than 2,000 cases in a single day—the previous […]

Acoma Guv: No tribal consultation before IHS suspended services at medical facility

Acoma Pueblo Governor Brian Vallo said the federal government did not consult with pueblo leaders before deciding to end most of the healthcare services offered at a regional medical facility that serves roughly 9,000 Indigenous residents.  Indian Health Service (IHS), which sits under the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

COVID-19 hospitalizations grow, hospitals utilizing surge plans

Leaders from Albuquerque hospitals provided an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in their facilities, saying resources are stretched but not yet broken, and said the systems are working together to help patients. Lovelace Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vesta Sandoval said hospitals around the state are seeing an increased number of […]

Cannabis and Indigenous Communities

Native Americans governments across the country and even in New Mexico are diverse in many of their views, including cannabis.  This week on Growing Forward, a podcast collaboration between NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, we take a look at how Native American communities fit into state-wide legalization efforts.  […]

NM DOH tries again to limit medical cannabis reciprocity

The New Mexico Department of Health is trying, with two different approaches, to restrict rules on medical cannabis reciprocity.  The Department of Health’s Medical Cannabis Program posted on their website a notice of a rule change hearing, scheduled for early next month. The new rules would only authorize out-of-state residents […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/17/20 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. New Mexico reported over 1,200 new COVID-19 cases and 21 deaths related to the disease on Monday. Read more here. Hospital leaders said they […]

DOH: 1,259 new COVID-19 cases, 21 new deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health reported 1,259 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of confirmed cases to over 65,000. The state also reported 21 deaths related to the disease. DOH updated its methodology for COVID-19 hospitalizations and now relies on data directly from hospitals instead of […]

Bill to codify the federal Indian Child Welfare Act into state law an important step, say advocates

A bill to protect Native American children so they can remain within their tribal communities and extended families will be pre-filed in the state Legislature in January, supporters say. The bill, still in draft form, will codify the federal Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) into state law if it’s passed […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/16/20 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. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered, beginning Monday, a reimposition of the stay-at-home order. This means all non-essential businesses will have to close. Read more […]

NM public health officials report another day of more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19

New Mexico health officials reported Sunday an additional 1,033 new cases of COVID-19 and seven new deaths related to the disease. That brings the state’s cumulative total to 64,201 reported cases and 1,215 deaths.  The state Department of Health said a disruption in the reporting system meant some results were […]

The enraging deja vu of a third coronavirus wave

There’s a joke I’ve seen circulating online, over and over during this pandemic, that goes along the lines of, “Months this year: January, February, March, March, March, March, March…”

My lips pull into a smile, but my heart’s not in it.

I was on the phone two weeks ago with a nurse who lives in Missouri, where cases have risen from 1,100 per day in August to about 3,400 daily in November. Her husband works in the ER of a rural hospital. Every time a patient suspected of having COVID-19 walks in, the sample is sent to be tested in St. Louis, an hour and a half away. Results take eight hours or more to process.

More than 1,100 new cases of COVID-19, 10 deaths

The New Mexico Department of Health announced 1,180 new cases of COVID-19 identified Saturday, and ten new deaths related to the disease.  Bernalillo County had the most new cases with 335. DOH reported 162 new cases in Doña Ana County . Six other counties had more than 50 new cases, […]

State to reimpose shutdown starting Monday: ‘We are in a life or death situation’

Warning that the state of New Mexico has been stretched to its brink by the virus, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said Friday that the state would “reset” things by reimposing the strictest COVID-19 restrictions since the early days of the pandemic. “You should stay at home except for only the […]

To’Hajiilee President, WALH laud water deal

After two years of planning and months of negotiations, the Navajo community of To’Hajiilee announced an agreement that will deliver much-needed water to residents. Mark Begay, president of the To’Hajiilee chapter of the Navajo Nation, called the settlement a historic occasion.  “I am a Marine Corps veteran, and it’s only […]

Guv to call Legislature into special session for COVID-19 relief

The governor will call the state legislature into a special session soon to discuss further efforts to aid businesses and residents as the state enters a two-week shutdown because of the spread of COVID-19. Lujan Grisham said that repurposing CARES Act funding to assist businesses and those who are unemployed […]

Tenth straight day of 1,200+ COVID-19 cases; 22 more deaths

For the tenth-straight day, the state reported more than 1,200 additional cases on Friday and 22 additional deaths. The number of additional cases reported by the state Department of Health was 1,237 of COVID-19. This brought the total number of deaths in the state to 1,198 and the total number […]

WATCH: Gov. Lujan Grisham’s 11/13 COVID-19 press conference

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham and state officials held a remote press conference on COVID-19 Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. The press conference came as New Mexico has seen record numbers of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations for COVID-19 and deaths related to the disease. See our recap of the press conference here: […]

When false information goes viral, COVID-19 patient groups fight back

For decades, people struggling with illnesses of all kinds have sought help in online support groups. This year, such groups have been in high demand for COVID-19 patients, who often must recover in isolation. But the fear and uncertainty regarding the coronavirus have made online groups targets for the spread […]

Legislators say timing isn’t right for new methane rules amid budget crunch

Some state legislators are concerned about the possible revenue implications of a proposed rule aimed at reducing methane waste in oil and gas operations. The state’s Legislative Finance Committee, a committee made up of members of both the House and Senate that considers priorities for the state budget ahead of […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/13/20 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. Cases in New Mexico are continuing to grow with no sign of slowing. On Thursday, the state reported 1,753 new COVID-19 cases and 18 […]

1,753 new COVID-19 cases, 18 new deaths

New Mexico once again set a record for new COVID-19 cases and reported 18 new deaths related to the disease. At the same time, the state topped 60,000 confirmed cases just eight days after crossing 50,000 cases.  The state Department of Health reported 1,753 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, […]

Long ‘shackled’ by industry, can New Mexico legislators find a new way forward?

Between May and September, a single lobbyist for Chevron doled out more than $760,000 in campaign cash to dozens of New Mexico state politicians, both Democrats and Republicans. State Sen. George Muñoz (D-Gallup) calls it a waste of money. “I don’t think they get back anything,” says Muñoz. He and Democratic Speaker […]

Senate Appropriations Committee removes Chaco protections from DOI bill

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee removed language from a FY2021 budget bill for the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) that would ensure the ten mile buffer zone around Chaco Canyon remains in place for another year.  In late 2019, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich were successful in adding […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/12/20 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 had another day with a record number of single-day cases, with 1,500 new cases. Hospitalizations also hit a new […]

Another record day number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and 14 additional deaths

New Mexico health officials reported 1,500 new cases of COVID-19, another record number of cases reported in a single day. The state also reported 14 new COVID-19 deaths for the third consecutive day. Hospitalizations in the state also hit a new record high. Over a quarter of the newly reported […]

Gov. Lujan Grisham appoints new health secretary

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office announced the appointment of a new Department of Health secretary on Wednesday.  In a statement, Lujan Grisham said she was “thrilled to welcome” Dr. Tracie Collins as the New Mexico Department of Health secretary-designate.    “New Mexico has never needed experienced and compassionate public health leadership […]

As methane rulemaking progresses, questions about exemptions linger

New Mexico Environment Department Secretary James Kenney said his department is working through hundreds of comments related to a proposed rule for regulating air pollution associated with oil and gas development.  “We received over 400 comments on our rule,” Kenney told state legislators during a recent committee meeting.  Last year, […]

U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday over Texas v. California, in which the state of Texas argued that the entire Affordable Care Act should be rendered unconstitutional. This is not the first time the Supreme Court has heard cases brought against the ACA. But it is the first […]

New Mexicans named to Biden transition team

President-elect Joe Biden is continuing his transition efforts and named members of his agency review teams, including several names from New Mexico.  Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has been a co-chair of Biden’s transition team since September. There has been speculation that she may join the Biden administration. Her chief of […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/11/20 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. New Mexico had another day of over 1,200 COVID-19 newly reported cases and 14 related deaths on Tuesday. Read more here.  The number of […]

A fifth straight day of over 1,200 new COVID-19 cases; 14 new deaths reported

The state Department of Health reported over 1,200 cases of COVID-19 again on Tuesday. The department also reported 14 additional deaths related to the disease. Tuesday was the fifth-straight day with 1,200 or more cases of COVID-19, and the sixth day in the last week with ten or more newly […]

‘It’s getting worse.’ Hospital leaders warn that COVID-19 is stretching resources

Leaders from the three major hospital systems in Albuquerque warned that things are getting worse with COVID-19 not just in the city or state, but nationwide, and encouraged residents to do their part to mitigate the spread of the deadly disease to avoid further burdening hospitals, which are rapidly filling […]

Growing Forward: Testing and regulations

An ongoing debate in the medical cannabis community is over how much New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program should be regulated and to what testing standards the state should hold producers.  This week in Growing Forward, we take a look at the state’s regulations and testing standards.  The state’s Medical Cannabis […]

2020 elections usher in a wave of ‘firsts’ for NM

New Mexico voters embraced candidates in the 2020 elections that have historically been underrepresented, including women, in elected office. The state saw a slew of “firsts” this year.  For the first time in the state’s history, New Mexico’s three seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be held by […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/10/20 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. “I think what’s most important for everyone to recognize is that this pandemic is not getting better. At this point, it’s getting worse,” Presbyterian […]

NM has over 1,400 new COVID-19 cases, 12 additional deaths

New Mexico once again reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases, the third time this has happened in the last four days, and a double-digit number of newly reported deaths. The state Department of Health reported 1,418 cases of COVID-19 and 12 additional deaths related to the disease. Bernalillo […]

As faith in vaccines falters, Biden is under pressure to name new FDA chief stat

President-elect Joe Biden made COVID-19 a linchpin of his campaign, criticizing President Donald Trump’s leadership on everything from masks and packed campaign rallies to vaccines. That was the easy part. Biden now has the urgent job of filling top health care positions in his administration to help restore public trust […]

Recap of New Mexico COVID-19 news (11/9/20 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. For three days in a row, the state reported over 1,200 cases of COVID-19. The state reported 1,287 on Friday, then 1,287 on Saturday […]