News

Arianna Sena

Polls show New Mexicans believe their government is corrupt. State lawmakers say that while there may be a few bad apples, the system we have is working.

But the facts show just the opposite: New Mexico has the widest gap in the country between the laws on the books and the way those laws are actually enforced, according to a 2015 report from the Center for Public Integrity.

Rae Allen via Compfight CC

How quickly criminal cases work their way through the system has a big impact on defendants’ lives. And it’s been a little over a year since the state Supreme Court first set deadlines to speed things up and clear thousands of backlogged cases in Bernalillo County, the state’s busiest judicial district. The criminal justice system is still adjusting.

Ed Williams

    

For many people who are homeless or who have behavioral health issues, the right medical care is too far out of reach. Often folks turn to emergency services for basic healthcare—which can be both expensive and ineffective.

Santa Fe is just one of a dozen cities across the U.S. to try out a new program that brings meaningful help to people who frequently call 911.

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More than half a million people in the state make use of food stamps. Federal judges ordered the state on Monday, March 7, to halt work requirements for the program.  

Wikimedia Commons / CREATIVE COMMONS

New Mexico’s Snowpack Melting Quickly – Santa Fe New Mexican

Despite a lot of rain and snow early in the winter, the unusually warm temperatures in February means New Mexico has lost about 40 percent of its snowpack.

NM Consensus Planning

Santolina Developers Seek Tax Funding For Infrastructure – Albuquerque Journal

Developers who want to create a massive project on Albuquerque’s west side are seeking to capture future tax revenue from the project to pay for things like streets and sewer systems.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

The Legislature found more money for health care this year than it did last year, but it’s still not enough to cover the costs of Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. A group of advocates and associations from all corners of the health care system met on Friday to grapple with the projected shortfall.

Albuquerque Transit

Plans to create a new bus rapid transit system along historic Route 66 are generating intense controversy in Albuquerque.

Supporters say it will bring economic development, more walkable streets and make it easier for residents across the river to access jobs. Business owners fear construction and increased congestion will mean fewer customers.

Coast Guard News / Creative Commons via Flickr

KUNM Call In Show Thu. 3/10 8a: New Mexico's Supreme Court created a new set of rules aimed at clearing a backlog of cases in Bernalillo County's criminal justice system. But there's been pushback from folks who say the new deadlines are tough to meet. 

New Mexico PBS

Holly Holm Loses Bantamweight Title In Bout – KOB-TV

Albuquerque fighter Holly Holm returned home Sunday night without the UFC title she won last year.

Arianna Sena

During the 2016 legislative session, the People, Power and Democracy project tracked efforts to address ethics, accountability and money in politics. This year lawmakers met for only 30 days and were charged first and foremost with preparing a state budget. Most of the bills we followed failed, but many sponsors and advocacy groups pledged to return again in the longer 2017 session and try a gain. Here’s a summary of the proposals we watched most closely.

What Passed

House webcasts to be archived

Sebastien Wiertz / Creative Commons via Flickr

New Mexico Governor Acts On Remaining BillsAssociated Press

Gov. Susana Martinez has until Wednesday to sign, veto or disregard dozens of unsigned bills.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/460375914

Over the past few years New Mexico has used short-term solutions to balance the budget without raising taxes. But if oil and gas prices stay low, it will become more and more of a challenge to find the money the state needs to pay the bills.

Raising at least some taxes might not be politically popular, but Sen. John Arthur Smith, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, argues it’s the fiscally conservative thing to do. And he wants to start with the gas tax.

www.indianpueblo.org

She spent her life in the place she was born, Acoma Pueblo.  As a very young girl there, under the guidance of her great-aunt, Lucy Lewis began to learn the traditional art of Acoma pottery.  Over the next 80-plus years, she not only mastered that art but changed it, and in the process helped to bring a new appreciation to Native Art.

ENERGY.GOV via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

New Mexico Shields Farmers From Nuisance Complaints – The Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed legislation aimed at protecting farmers and ranchers from nuisance lawsuits by neighbors amid encroachment of urban sprawl.

wikipedia via CC

A congressional panel investigating fetal tissue exchange held its first hearing this week, and among the topics of debate: Should institutions be forced to turn over a list of names of the people involved? Officials at the University of New Mexico have expressed concerns about doing so.

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The state’s Medicaid Advisory Committee is meeting Friday afternoon in Santa Fe to talk about budget shortfalls. 

One lawmaker called it the tightest budget in memory after the legislative session ended last month. And advocates are warning that Medicaid will be millions short, which could mean higher fees for low-income patients, lower rates for providers and limited job growth in the health care field. About 40 percent of the state’s population is covered by Medicaid after the expansion under the Affordable Care Act.

NM Dept. of Health

Sheriff: Crash Didn't Cause Secretary's DeathThe Associated Press

The Santa Fe County Sheriff's Department says New Mexico Health Secretary Retta Ward's death in a single-car accident today was not due to physical trauma and may have been linked to a medical episode.

Nikolai Vassiliev / Creative Commons via Flickr

Health insurance can be complicated and understanding how to get covered can be difficult. Students at a specialized charter school in Albuquerque are producing podcasts to help people navigate the health insurance system.

orangesparrow via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Former Provider Sues Over New Mexico Mental Health Shakeup Las Cruces Sun-News, Associated Press

A former behavioral health provider in southern New Mexico is suing a company that once managed the state's Medicaid dollars.

Rita Daniels

House Panel Chairman: Gold King Mine Was Breached On Purpose - The Associated Press

The Republican leader of a congressional panel investigating a 3-million-gallon spill of toxic wastewater from an inactive Colorado gold mine says the mine was purposely breached by a government cleanup team.

TaxRebate.org.uk via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas on Monday brought felony charges against a former state senator accused of using his office to make money on a land deal.

Zack McCarthy via CC

In front of a group of commercial real estate developers, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a bill she said will make the campaign finance system more accurate and transparent, and make it easier for the public to access the information.

Ed Williams

Mountain View, a neighborhood in the Rio Grande Valley south of Albuquerque, is one of the most environmentally burdened communities in New Mexico. There are dozens of industrial facilities, and hardly any places for kids to play outside. With heavy traffic and no sidewalks, just walking home can be dangerous.

But some of that is changing, with the help of a new wildlife refuge.  

Leland Consulting Group via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

Feds: Jemez Pueblo Abandoned Claim To Valles Caldera Santa Fe New Mexican, Associated Press

The U.S. Justice Department says a Native American community in northern New Mexico doesn't have any claims to Valles Caldera National Preserve due to a 12-year statute of limitations on tribal land claims.

City of Santa Fe

Some New Mexicans Petitioning To Secede From Santa Fe CountyAssociated Press, The Santa Fe New Mexican

Some residents of a New Mexico city are petitioning to secede from Santa Fe County to join a bordering county.

http://theatreandmusic.uic.edu

University of New Mexico graduate Javier José Mendoza is the founder and director of the Chicago Arts Orchestra.  In 2011, the CAO started performing music that hadn't been heard since the 18th Century -- works retrieved from the archives of churches and cathedrals in Mexico, Ecuador and other regions of Colonial New Spain.

/ Creative Commons

State Officials Investigate APS Board Vice PresidentAlbuquerque Journal

The vice president of the Albuquerque Public Schools board is under investigation for seeking reimbursement for a cleaning bill.

Darko Stojanovich via Pixabay / Creative Commons

Budget woes at the New Mexico Department of Health are forcing a public health office in Albuquerque to close. 

The Alamosa Public Health clinic in southwest Albuquerque provides immunizations, STD screening, family planning and other services. Clients seeking help there are often low-income or uninsured.

Wikipedia / CREATIVE COMMONS

Santa Fe Archbishop: US Detention Policy WrongAssociated Press

Santa Fe Roman Catholic Archbishop John Wester says the federal government isn't giving detained immigrants due process and called on U.S. officials to change that.

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