KUNM

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DoD via CC

Congress is spending billions more than it ever has to fight the opioid epidemic affecting the nation. Some of that money is going to rural areas, and there was some concern that the rural communities being targeted were almost entirely white.

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New Mexico has some of the worst conditions for children in rural areas, according to a recent study. A local advocate for kids’ wellness said things are improving, and that voting can help with that momentum.

JESSICA7191 VIA PIXABAY / CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

New Mexico’s been fighting the opioid epidemic for decades, but it wasn’t until last year that the federal government declared it a public health emergency. Congress just pumped up the budget for fighting the epidemic by billions, including $100 million for rural areas. But none of the rural counties in our state were targeted for that money. Now that’s changing.

Katharine Egli for the Solutions Journalism Network

Quality internet service is key to overcoming poverty, according to studies worldwide. But all over the U.S., people of color and folks with low incomes are less likely to have access to an affordable, reliable connection. Plus, big corporations are often unwilling to lay line through tough terrain without a lot of customers.

Sarah Gustavus

Let's Talk New Mexico 4/5 8a:  Internet access is expensive and often slow in rural communities across New Mexico. How might improving internet speed and access help all New Mexicans  pursue educational and economic opportunities? 

Federal Communications Commission via CC

The Federal Communications Commission is scheduled to vote on rolling back net neutrality protections and to weigh media ownership rules again on Thursday, Dec. 14. Surveys show the changes are not supported by people across the country, regardless of political party. KUNM spoke with Viki Harrison, the executive director of Common Cause New Mexico, about what these policy shifts could mean in New Mexico.

UPDATE Feb. 19, 2014, 10:35 a.m.: This measure is in the House Taxation and Revenue Committee.

The state Senate approved a bill last night that creates temporary funding for more than two dozen rural hospitals.