KUNM

2017 Legislature

Pixabay via Creative Commons

Lawmakers and educators in New Mexico have been talking about the achievement gap in public schools for years—and trying to figure out how to close it. Testimony in a landmark education trial underway in Santa Fe touched on early childhood education programs this week. The lawsuit says they’re crucial to making sure students of color, children from families with low incomes and English language-learners succeed. But those programs aren’t widely available. 

Governor Martinez Restores University Funds, Vetoes Taxes

May 27, 2017
Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez restored funding Friday to all state colleges and universities that she had vetoed earlier by tapping money from suspended infrastructure projects, while rejecting a string of tax increases proposed by the Democratic-led Legislature.

Creative Commons

KUNM Call In Show 5/25 8a: Call toll-free 877-899-5866. Lawmakers return to Santa Fe Wednesday for a special legislative session devoted to resolving an impasse on the state budget. The Roundhouse is controlled by Democrats and Governor Susana Martinez rejected the budget they sent to her in January—vetoing virtually all money for the legislative branch and for state colleges and universities. 

Elaine Baumgartel / KUNM

The state Supreme Court decided that there’s still a way for Gov. Susana Martinez and lawmakers to work out their differences during a special session, so it doesn’t have to weigh in right now. The high court canceled a hearing Monday in a case the Legislature brought against the executive about some of her many vetoes. 

Hannah Colton

Governor Susana Martinez this week promised that higher education will get its funding back in a special session she’ll call soon. That’s after university leaders called on her to restore nearly $750 million dollars she vetoed from next year’s proposed state budget. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

All around the state, evidence from sexual assault cases sits untested. Per capita, New Mexico’s backlog of sexual assault evidence kits is the worst in the nation, according to our state auditor. Most of those kits are in Albuquerque. Even though legislators have passed measures about the backlog, and Mayor Richard Berry proposed putting $1 million toward shrinking it, advocates say it’s getting worse every month. 

geralt via Pixabay / public domain

KUNM Call In Show 4/13 8a: Governor Susana Martinez vetoed a record 51 percent of the bills state lawmakers sent to her desk this year. She vetoed the entire budget for the state Legislature, every dollar for state colleges and universities, a total of $800 million in vetoes. The governor says she plans to call lawmakers back to Santa Fe for a special session. But what will be different? Will any of the bills she vetoed be back on the table? 

From the 2013 ACLU-NM report "Inside The Box"

Advocates around the country have been working to limit the use of solitary confinement in jails and prisons. The New Mexico Legislature passed a bill this year that would prohibit putting people who are under 18 or pregnant or who have a serious mental illness into solitary. But last week, Gov. Susana Martinez vetoed it.

Walt Stoneburner via Flickr (cropped) / Creative Commons License

One of the bills that Governor Susana Martinez vetoed last week would have set up a Medicaid-funded home visiting program for new parents. The move has disappointed some doctors and child advocates.

Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez stripped all funding for the state Legislature along with state universities and colleges from a proposed budget for the coming fiscal year, using her veto pen Friday to escalate a confrontation with lawmakers over how to shore up shaky state finances.

Ethics And Transparency In The 2017 Legislature

Mar 22, 2017
Richie Diesterheft via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

These are some of the major ethics and transparency measures that flew or floundered during this year's 60-day legislative session.

Arianna Sena/KUNM

KUNM Call In Show 3/23 8a: Call now toll-free 1-877-899-5866.  This year's 60-day legislative session wrapped up last weekend, but lawmakers may soon be called back by Governor Susana Martinez to continue debate on the state budget. We'll look at the latest news from the Roundhouse and we ask you to share what you think would make state government more accessible and accountable to everyday New Mexicans.

Governor Martinez Rejects Budget, Will Recall Lawmakers

Mar 18, 2017
Heath Haussamen / New Mexico In Depth

A New Mexico state budget plan from lawmakers that would shore up spending on public schools and state agencies by raising taxes and fees was resoundingly rejected on Saturday by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, minutes after the adjournment of a 60-day legislative session.

NMPBS

Interactive Event Tuesday 4/4 6p: Join the People, Power and Democracy project to share your thoughts on how to improve state government.

Arianna Sena/KUNM

A proposal that would prevent state and local police from detaining or arresting people who are in the U.S. illegally was scheduled to be heard on the Senate floor in Santa Fe this week. 

Openthreads via Flickr / Creative Commons

Gov. Susana Martinez lobbied top Democrats to approve a bill that would have created an exception to regulations about leases for state offices. Now some Democrats are calling for an investigation of what they call pay-to-play.  

Arianna Sena / Creative Commons

Who should investigate or prosecute controversial police use of force and shootings? That’s a problem that comes up in law enforcement departments everywhere. A bill introduced during this legislative session tries to address it, but the measure’s being hamstrung by this year’s budget crunch. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ze_valdi/7556549414/

KUNM Call In Show 3/9 8a: Violent crimes have stolen headlines over the last year, while property crimes remain a persistently unpleasant part of life all over New Mexico. Lawmakers in Santa Fe are debating how to reduce crime—but with little money available to do it. Which ideas could reduce crime and save money? Which sound good but cost a lot and have no guarantee? And which proposals have more to do with politics than anything else? 

Measure Would Take Redistricting From Lawmakers

Mar 3, 2017
New Mexico Legislature mapping tool

The 2020 census is fast approaching and some lawmakers in Santa Fe are pushing for voting districts to be redrawn by an independent commission.

Gwyneth Doland

Domestic violence gets a lot of attention in New Mexico after something really gruesome happens, but long-term health consequences often go overlooked. A measure in the Roundhouse draws attention to the effects of strangulation. 

Hannah Colton

 

The Public Education Department has been unwavering in its focus on using standardized tests to “raise the bar” for education in New Mexico.

State Senators recently approved a resolution that proposes a new paradigm of student assessment.

Bjoertvedt / Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons

Republicans unveiled a plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act last week. U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich has been a vocal critic of repealing the healthcare law. He spoke with KUNM's Ed Williams about what changes to the ACA could mean for this state. 

Evaluating Teacher Evals In New Mexico

Feb 21, 2017
Hannah Colton/KUNM

New Mexico’s teacher evaluation system has seen fierce pushback from teachers unions since it was created by Governor Susana Martinez’ administration back in 2012. It uses student testing for 50 percent of a teacher’s rating; the other half is based on classroom observations, attendance and other measures.

The usefulness of accountability systems like New Mexico’s is in doubt from multiple sides of the education reform debate.

Night Owl City via Flickr / Creative Commons License

KUNM Call In Show 2/23 8a: Public education is one of the largest expenses for the state.  We'll compare out our state’s funding model to other states across the country and debate legislation introduced this year to address school funding. Where do you think the state should invest in education? How would you measure quality in public education? We'd like to hear from you, email callinshow@kunm.org or call in live during the show. 

Bill To Create State Ethics Commission Moves Forward

Feb 17, 2017
ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain


A House committee in Santa Fe unanimously passed a measure Thursday that would create an independent state ethics commission.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Congress passed a law decades ago to apologize to people who were exposed to radiation when the U.S. tested nuclear weapons. New Mexico’s never been included even though the first detonation of a nuclear bomb in human history happened right here in 1945.

BruceBlaus via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

Lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday that would require health insurance providers to cover birth control. The federal Affordable Care Act already requires this, but the proposal will keep birth control covered in New Mexico, even if Congress repeals the ACA.

Ed Williams

The New Mexico Senate approved a bill Monday that provides more legal protection to people calling 911 to report a drug overdose. Lawmakers hope the bill will encourage more people to call for help.

Clever Cupcakes via Flickr / Creative Commons

 

KUNM Callin Show 2/16 8a: New Mexico expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act and the number of people covered by the program will grow to more than 900,000 by the end of June. That's about 44 percent of the state's population.

Proposals Would Require More Info From Lobbyists

Feb 10, 2017
revisorweb via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

 


Lobbyists would have to provide more information about their activities if several measures pass the state legislature in Santa Fe this year.

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