KUNM- 1

2018 Legislature

After Escape, A Long Road To Recovery

Mar 1, 2018
GLady via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

Over the years, New Mexico’s resources for human trafficking victims have begun to reach more and more people. But the state still has a long way to go to help survivors.

New Mexico PBS

This year’s 30-day legislative session wrapped up last week. It was a budget year, but lawmakers also considered legislation to address issues like education and public safety. We'll take a look at what happened this year at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, then we'll step back and spend the rest of the hour looking at programs and organizations around the state that are addressing some of the most persistent problems in our communities – from poverty to a lack of access to health care.

U.S. Embassy in the Philippines via CC / Creative Commons

Funding for public early childhood programs is tight around New Mexico, and it’s disproportionately students of color who miss out. Allen Sanchez of the New Mexico Conference of Catholic Bishops sparked debate last week when he told an Associated Press reporter that systemic racism is a factor in why legislation that could have fixed the problem didn’t get a fair shake. 

Legislators Close Out Session With Budget Compromise

Feb 15, 2018
ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

State legislators passed a $6.3 billion budget on Wednesday night. A surplus in state revenue made things easier this year, but it also brought new challenges, said Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth.

Disappointment For Early Childhood Education Advocates

Feb 15, 2018
Night Owl City via Flickr / Creative Commons License

Supporters of early childhood education didn’t get the funding they were hoping for this legislative session.

Some House lawmakers wanted to use more money from the State’s Land Grant Permanent Fund for things like pre-K, childcare cssistance and other programs. But Democratic State Senator John Arthur Smith said that’s a bad idea.

State Budget Boosts Public Health

Feb 15, 2018
nmindepth.com

 


Lawmakers passed a $6.3 billion budget Wednesday night. One billion of that will go to behavioral health care and the Department of Health.

 

Health workers would get a raise, and anti-smoking programs would see a multimillion-dollar boost.

Time Is Running Low For Lottery Scholarship Measure

Feb 13, 2018
Chris Jones / Flickr via Creative Commons

The New Mexico state legislature is running out of time to pass a lottery scholarship bill that could benefit thousands of college students. 

Carlsbad Brine Well Bill Heads To Governor

Feb 13, 2018
Arianna Sena/KUNM

New Mexico lawmakers unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would help stop a sinkhole from forming in Carlsbad. The Motor Vehicle Tax to Road Fund measure would take a little over 4 percent of state vehicle tax money and put it toward filling Carlsbad’s brine well.

Pet Food Fee Measure Advances In Santa Fe

Feb 12, 2018
Creative Commons

 


 

 

Half of the animals that enter shelters in New Mexico end up being euthanized, and lawmakers are getting closer to agreeing on a measure that would charge a fee to pet food companies to help fund spay and neuter services across the state.

Highways England via CC

New Mexico’s criminal justice system gets clogged. The courts, the public prosecutors and defenders, they’ve all said they don’t have enough money or staff to process cases fast enough. Growing backlogs, people and details falling through the cracks—those complaints are common. Lawmakers are weighing a bill that would pull minor offenses out of the court system.

Marisa Demarco / KUNM

New Mexico has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the U.S. There’s no waiting period to buy a firearm, and there aren’t any state laws restricting what kinds of guns people can own. It is llegal for someone convicted of a felony to have one here, and legislators are working to increase the penalty. But that may not be the kind of law gun-control advocates are looking for. 

insunlight via Flickr / Creative Commons License

 

New Mexico has the second-highest recidivism rate in the country, with half of its former inmates landing back behind prison bars within three years. To shrink those numbers, the state House passed a measure that would require jails and prisons to make sure inmates have access to behavioral health services.

Measure To Legalize Recreational Cannabis Advances

Feb 2, 2018
smoker's high life via Flickr / Creative Commons License

On Friday, Feb. 2, lawmakers in Santa Fe got closer to putting legalizing recreational cannabis on the ballot. Advocates say that could help with the state’s opioid overdose rate.

Bill Would Fund Human Trafficking Task Force

Feb 1, 2018
Arianna Sena / Creative Commons


Human trafficking has increased in New Mexico over the last 5 years, with at least 144 reported cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

 

Las Cruces Democratic Representative Angelica Rubio introduced a bill that would fund research on human trafficking.

Three Strikes Stalls In Committee In Santa Fe

Jan 25, 2018
Richie Diesterheft via Flickr / CREATIVE COMMONS

A three strikes enhancement bill stalled in a committee hearing at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe Thursday.

Pages