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Priorities For The 2018 Legislative Session

Jan 10, 2018
New Mexico PBS

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/11 8a: The 2018 legislative session begins January 16. Along with setting state spending priorities, lawmakers are also expected to consider legislation on education and public safety during the 30-day session. 

What questions do you have about the upcoming session? What issues do you hope get the most attention from lawmakers this year? 

In Deep Water

Jan 10, 2018
Laura Paskus

As severe drought returns to New Mexico, farmers and skiers alike fret over the state’s lack of snow. Meanwhile, on a cold, cloudy Monday morning in Washington, DC, attorneys for New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and the United States government grappled over the muddy waters of the Rio Grande.

San Juan Citizens Alliance/EcoFlight / with permission

Divided Panel Clears Way For PNM Rate Increase ­– The Associated Press

New Mexico regulators have cleared the way for an even smaller rate increase for customers of the state's largest electric utility while backtracking on an earlier finding that questioned investments made in a coal-fired power plant.

Victor Onimole / KUNM

Construction workers tore up Albuquerque’s main avenue for well over a year installing ART, or Albuquerque Rapid Transit. And even though the new stations light up at night, the system isn’t working. The city’s new mayor said at a news conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9, that ART has a ways to go before it’s operational. 

pixabay.com via CC / Creative Commons

Albuquerque Mayor Says There Are Many Problems With ARTThe Albuquerque Journal

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and his leadership won’t make a guess when the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project will be operational.

New Mexico Hits The High Court On The Rio Grande

Jan 8, 2018
Laura Paskus

On a frigid Monday morning in the nation’s capital, as most of the press corps turned its attention toward a water dispute between Florida and Georgia, attorneys for New Mexico and Colorado tried to fend off the ability of the United States government to protect its water interests on the Rio Grande.

Public Domain / Creative Commons

Congressional Race In New Mexico Gets Libertarian CandidateThe Associated Press

A Libertarian Party candidate is running for Congress in New Mexico's Albuquerque-based district.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters / Creative Commons via Flickr

US Senator Proposes Delisting Mexican Gray WolfAssociated Press

A wolf that once roamed parts of the American Southwest and northern Mexico would be removed from the list of federally protected species under legislation proposed by U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake.

http://www.musicatstjohns.org/

The format calls for eight consecutive hours of live music, with audience members invited to come and go as they please.  Starting at noon on January 13, dozens of local musicians will gather at Albuquerque's St. John's United Methodist Church to raise money for Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless.  Classical musicians, jazz ensembles, singer-songwriters, choirs, and solo performers will take part in the Midwinter Music Marathon.

kenteegardin via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Governor Martinez Calls For Budget IncreaseThe Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez is recommending a $250 million increase in state general fund spending for the coming fiscal year.

OiMax via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

New Mexico Regulators To Reconsider Utility RatesThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

State regulators have rescinded a decision that allowed New Mexico's largest electric utility to increase rates for customers but limited the amount of money the utility could recoup on upgrades at a coal-fired power plant.

inlandwest via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Moves Up In Oil And Gas RankingsThe Associated Press

Thanks to more barrels of oil being pumped monthly from the Permian Basin, New Mexico is among the nation's top producing states.

Rennett Stowe / Creative Commons

New Mexico Utility Grapples With Costs Of Closing Coal PlantThe Associated Press

New Mexico's largest electric provider plans to get out of the coal business sooner rather than later and is proposing legislation that could ease the sting of closing a coal-fired power plant that has served customers around the Southwest for decades.

Prayitno via Flickr / Creative Commons

American Indian Tribes Commission Problem-Gambling StudyThe Associated Press & The Santa Fe New Mexican

The first major study in more than a decade of compulsive gambling in New Mexico is being commissioned by an association of American Indian tribes that run casinos.

Creative Commons via Pexels

Theater Dome To Be Replaced At New Mexico Space Museum Associated Press

The final phase of renovations at the New Mexico Museum of Space History's theater and planetarium call for a full dome replacement.

Sipa via Pixabay / Creative Commons

Some Complaints Against Natural Cigarette Maker To ProceedThe Associated Press

A federal judge in New Mexico has dismissed more than two dozen complaints but is allowing others to proceed against the company behind a line of cigarettes touted as natural.

Staticflickr / Creative Commons

Agency: Southwestern Songbird To Retain Protected StatusThe Associated Press

A federal agency says a migratory songbird that breeds in vegetation along rivers and streams in Arizona and New Mexico will remain an endangered species.

Education Images/UIG via Getty Images / CREATIVE COMMONS

New Mexico Off List Of Top 10 States For Overdose DeathsThe Associated Press

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that New Mexico has fallen off of the list of top 10 states for fatal overdoses.

ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Lawmakers File Dozens Of Bills; Most Will See No ActionThe Associated Press

Lawmakers have filed more than 100 bills for their session that starts in mid-January.  Most of those will see no action.

Bob Skahmahmahl / Creative Commons

State Land Office Issues Lease For New Mexico Wind FarmThe Associated Press

The State Land Office has issued a lease to a subsidiary of a California-based energy company to build a wind farm on trust land in New Mexico.

user: Plasticsturgeon / Creative Commons via Flickr

Special Counsel Appointed In Santa Fe Deputy Shooting CaseAssociated Press

Special counsel has been appointed to prosecute the case of a former Santa Fe County sheriff's deputy whose first two trials in the killing of another deputy ended when juries couldn't agree on a verdict.

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

Insurance Regulator Seeks Stop To Surprise Medical BillingThe Associated Press

New Mexico's top insurance regulator wants new legislation to stop medical providers from hitting patients with unexpected bills for services they thought were covered by their health insurance.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Insurance Superintendent John Franchini has drafted legislation seeking to ease the burden of surprise health care billing on the patients.

OiMax via Flickr.com / Creative Commons

New Mexico Regulators Approve Utility Rate Hike With CaveatThe Associated Press

State regulators have agreed to allow New Mexico's largest electric utility to raise rates over the next two years but with the stipulation it cannot recoup the money the utility is spending to upgrade a coal power plant.

Let's Talk 2017

Dec 20, 2017
Eglin Air Force Base via CC

Let's Talk New Mexico 12/21 8a: It was a year for hard questions about race, politics and identity. Some folks will tell you it’s because the media and social media are highlighting our divisions. Others will say it’s because national politics are pinned on dog-whistle rhetoric tinged with racism and xenophobia.

Victor Onimole / KUNM/University of New Mexico

By the end of this year, Albuquerque drivers will be able to head up and down Central Avenue without seeing bulldozers and cranes. Heavy construction on the Albuquerque Rapid Transit Project is scheduled to end this month. For over a year, about 10 miles of Central have been torn up and worked on. This sparked protests, discussion and anti-ART signs around the city. Construction workers said the hard work and unpleasant interactions they face are part of the job. KUNM visited the Cornell and San Pedro ART bus stations.

Pixabay via Creative Commons

The Childrens Health Insurance Program covers over 9 million kids nationally, but the well of federal funds has been dry for months, and with strife in Congress, uncertainty lingers.

starreyez024 via Flickr / Creative Commons License

New Mexico Agrees To Strengthen Wage-Theft EnforcementThe Associated Press

A legal settlement has been reached to shore up New Mexico's enforcement of laws against wage theft by employers.

Olympia School District, State of Washington / Creative Commons

New Mexico Weighs Options As Online Schools FalterThe Associated Press

A new study shows that online schools in New Mexico provide lower academic achievement than classroom-based schools even though they enroll fewer at-risk students from impoverished and non-English speaking families.

Mark Woodward for SFR

Around the country we’ve seen tensions escalate between elected officials and journalists. Here in New Mexico, the story is the same. And four years ago, the Santa Fe Reporter sued Gov. Susana Martinez, saying her office violated the state’s Constitution when it shut out the paper for covering her administration’s use of private email for public business.

Sarah Trujillo / KUNM

Nearly one in 10 Americans works in the health care industry. It’s the same for our state, but there’s still a shortage of nurses here. Some schools are making efforts to get more nurses into the field.

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