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New Mexico is considering a plan to charge Medicaid patients copays as a way to save the state money. The proposal is drawing strong criticism from health care groups, poverty advocates and Medicaid recipients.

Joe Green / Flickr via Creative Commons

What if you’re racing to the hospital, but it’s an hour away – or more? Pregnant women living in northern New Mexico have to cross over sixty miles to deliver their babies with a doctor or midwife. But in this state, half the battle is getting physicians to work in rural areas.

OpenClipArt-Vector via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

As Republicans work to fulfill their promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the future of healthcare in the U.S. is up in the air. In New Mexico, health insurance carriers have to submit their proposed premium rates by this weekend. After state officials review them, the public will have 10 days to weigh in.

Mark Woodward

Did Gov. Susana Martinez violate the state’s sunshine law by failing to provide public records to a Santa Fe newspaper? That’s one of two questions at the heart of a lawsuit brought by the Santa Fe Reporter against the governor. We talked about the paper’s discrimination claim in our first story. Here we dig into the lawsuit’s allegations of government secrecy. 

Mark Woodward

When she was running for office, Susana Martinez campaigned on open government and promises of transparency. But journalists here say her administration routinely blocks access to state experts and employees, and won’t respond to questions from news organizations that have published critical stories. According to a lawsuit filed by the Santa Fe Reporter against the governor, that kind of blacklisting is discrimination and censorship.

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.

Mark Woodward

Testimony ended today in the three-day trial of SFR v. Gov. Susana Martinez with Mark Zusman, who co-owns the newspaper and two other weeklies, saying all three prioritize the watchdog function of journalism. 

Mark Woodward

A former spokesman for Gov. Susana Martinez testified today in the Santa Fe Reporter’s public records and viewpoint discrimination lawsuit against the governor. He said pushing her message, not responding to inquiries from journalists, was his top priority.

Mark Woodward / with permission

The SFR v. Gov. Susana Martinez trial began today in state District Court with the governor’s high-powered, contract defense lawyer attacking the credibility of the journalists who filed the lawsuit, suggesting they were not precise, not knowledgable, not prepared and not invested in the profession.

Amador Loureiro via Pexels.com / Creative Commons License

President Donald Trump’s administration is sparring with the national news media lately, but those tensions have been growing in New Mexico for quite a while. It’s been over three years since Santa Fe’s alternative weekly newspaper sued Gov. Susana Martinez over press freedom and the public’s right to know. 

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons License

A state agency won national recognition this week for its pattern of failing to provide information to the public.

The Society of Professional Journalists selected the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission as the winner of the 6th Annual Black Hole Award which highlights public agencies that display a contempt for the public’s right to know.

LISTEN: When Government Says No To The Press

Mar 15, 2017
Rio Grande SPJ

You know all those times when the reporter says that the government official, public agency or politician refused to comment? We're digging into issues of press access and government transparency this week and here are some recent KUNM examples. 

Amador Loureiro via Pexels.com / Creative Commons License

In 2013, Santa Fe’s alternative weekly newspaper sued Governor Susana Martinez for violating the state’s public records law. That case goes to trial next month and the outcome could have huge repercussions for government transparency and freedom of the press in New Mexico.

Ken Lund via Flickr CC

The Constitution guarantees criminal defendants the right to a speedy trial. But how speedy is speedy? The Supreme Court agreed on Wednesday, Jan. 27, to alter controversial rules that sped up criminal cases in the state’s most populous county. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

FARMINGTON, N.M.—Nationwide, the number of people who die in jail is rising. Here in New Mexico, three deaths in three months in San Juan County’s lockup caught the attention of attorneys and the local newspaper

Ed Williams

When state environment workers were taking groundwater samples in downtown Albuquerque back in the 1990s, they discovered a large plume of a solvent called trichloroethylene, or TCE—a toxic chemical that causes cancer and birth defects—just 35 feet below the ground. 

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

Update Aug. 18, 11:30 a.m.: The EPA said the water for the Navajo Nation came from nearby Bloomfield and met state and federal quality standards. The trucks came from a division of an Aztec, N.M.-based company, Triple S Trucking, that moves non-potable water. The company also hauls fluids to and from oil fields. KUNM awaits comment from Triple S. 

Laura Paskus

There used to be big talk about a big boom coming to the San Juan Basin. Industry thought they’d sink 20,000 new oil wells. Companies wanted to take advantage of oil deposits squeezed into tiny fissures in tight shale deep underground.