2021 Roundhouse

No More Normal: Legal Cannabis Takes Root

Apr 18, 2021
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After many attempts over what seems like forever, New Mexico has finally passed a law making recreational cannabis use legal for adults. But the rollout is not as simple as lighting a match as special considerations for how this new law will impact New Mexicans must be addressed. It raises a lot of questions: What happens to people with prior cannabis convictions? Who will have access to the emerging industry? How will equity be enacted? And how will this affect you if you don’t have citizenship status?

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New Mexico is one of the fastest-warming states in the country, according to a 2016 report issued by the Union Of Concerned Scientists. In this year’s legislative session several bills addressing climate change were introduced by lawmakers. Not all of the measures were rejected. They didn’t all pass, either.  KUNM caught up with environmental reporter Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS about the urgency of climate change problems in our state and how local elected officials are responding .

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People who are incarcerated faced a lack of resources when it came to access to health care and PPE during the pandemic. A couple of bills before lawmakers in New Mexico during the last legislative session could have addressed those problems, but prison reform has been placed on the back-burner for another year. KUNM’s Taylor Velazquez spoke with Lalita Moskowitz from the ACLU of New Mexico about the dangerous conditions inside private prisons.

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Storefront lenders offering payday loans or title loans are a quick way to get money for people who are often in dire straits financially. And it can be a slippery slope when the interest rate on these loans can be as high as 175 percent in New Mexico. Around the country, other states have passed laws to make those rates lower. But a bill that would have capped that rate at 36 percent here didn’t make it through the legislative session. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke to Fred Nathan, a proponent of the bill and the executive director of Think New Mexico.

New Mexico PBS

After months of protests against racism and police brutality, legislators passed a bill late Tuesday night that ends qualified immunity in state court, allowing police officers and other local elected officials to be prosecuted for civil rights violations. The state Senate voted in favor of the New Mexico Civil Rights Act shortly after midnight, and if amendments are approved by the House, it will head to the governor for signature. KUNM’s Khalil Ekulona spoke to Jeff Proctor of the Santa Fe Reporter about this and other measures aimed at police reform.

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Things are definitely moving fast and furious in the Roundhouse, as you would expect with only 4 and half days left in this year's session. 

New Mexico PBS

A busy weekend in the Roundhouse, capped off by yes votes for Medical Aid in Dying and Mandatory Paid Sick Leave measures. But, the big news of the weekend was the lack of action on cannabis legalization, as both of the remaining bills did not come up for discussion in the Senate Judiciary Committee. One of those bills was actually pulled from consideration just minutes before the meeting. And, of course, all of the proposed measures are up against the clock, with time set to run out on this year's session at noon on Saturday.

New Mexico PBS

 

If you are interested in the most inner workings of state government, today's Your NM Government update is just for you! The work Wednesday in the Roundhouse was somewhat overshadowed by technical problems with the virtual proceedings. But a lot of the business that was considered had to do with how the sausage is made, so to speak. Here's a quick rundown of what we talked about in today's update:

New Mexico PBS

 

 

And then there were 2 --- cannabis legalization bills. At least that's the way things seem to be shaping up in this 2021 Legislative Session. 

New Mexico PBS

 

 

New Mexico PBS

 

 

Another busy week in store for the session, and today also marks the second to last Monday of the 2021 Legislative Session. Lawmakers will definitely have their hands full in these last days, with plenty of high profile measures still to decide.

New Mexico PBS

A definite potpourri of legislative topics for you today, starting with an update on proposals to deal with the learning loss caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We also talk about some movement regarding predatory lending practices in New Mexico, which spurred several hours of debate yesterday in the Roundhouse.

New Mexico PBS

The week started off with some legislative drama, both on the Senate Floor and in committee. We run down some of the big news, including a potential compromise on efforts to reform how the state handles the once a decade process of redistricting. NMPBS Executive Producer Kevin McDonald runs down some of the key highlights from Monday and previews some of the scheduled committee discussions for today. How is the session going for you this year? What do you think of how both chambers are handling public comment. We want to hear from you!

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Today, Your NM Government launches daily updates on the 2021 Legislative session, now in the home stretch. The week started off with some legislative drama, both on the Senate Floor and in committee. We run down some of the big news, including a potential compromise on efforts to reform how the state handles the once a decade process of redistricting. NMPBS Executive Producer Kevin McDonald runs down some of the key highlights from Monday and previews some of the scheduled committee discussions for today. How is the session going for you this year?

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Cannabis is the topic. As part of the continuing coverage from Your New Mexico Government it is time for an update on the legislative session at the Roundhouse. To discover more about the Cannabis legislation under debate at the state Capital, KUNM's Khalil Ekulona sat down with Juile Ann Grimm, editor for The Santa Fe Reporter.

Laura Paskus / NM PBS

Your New Mexico Government is continuing its coverage of everything that happens at the Roundhouse with an interview of Laura Paskus from New Mexico PBS. Paskus talks about the Clean Water Act, SB 86, which proposes regulations on oil & gas companies in regards to produced water. And she tells us all about the Climate Solutions Act, HB 9, which looks to find solutions to the climate change issues New Mexico is facing, while using those efforts to boost the state's economy.

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Let’s Talk New Mexico, Thursday, 2/11, 8a: New Mexico has had a successful medical cannabis program for years, but full legalization for recreational use has proven elusive, even as neighboring states move ahead. This year, however, with the support of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the state could finally see lawmakers pass a recreational cannabis bill. If the bill passes, what will this mean for New Mexico’s economy? What are the different versions of legalization under consideration in the legislature? And how will legalization impact patients already enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program?

Journalist Explores Role Of Lobbyists In Legislature

Feb 5, 2021
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With pandemic restrictions at the Roundhouse this year, lobbyists have found themselves on the outside of a process in which they’re often the ultimate insiders. Bryan Metzger is a reporting fellow with New Mexico In Depth who recently looked at the outsized role lobbyists have in our unpaid citizen legislature. He spoke with New Mexico PBS senior producer Matt Grubs. See the full interview here.

Arianna Sena / KUNM


Coronavirus has infiltrated the Roundhouse, where New Mexico’s legislators are in the early weeks of a 60-day session. Since mid-January when the session began, at least three people in the capital have tested positive for the virus, including one GOP lawmaker. On Friday, Democratic House Speaker Brian Egolf announced new rules, restricting participation in committee meetings to Zoom, and closing the House floor to most lawmakers. KUNM spoke with Matt Grubs from New Mexico PBS.

New Mexico PBS

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivered the annual State of the State address on Jan. 26, 2021, from the Roundhouse in Santa Fe. This speech was pre-recorded due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We annotate the transcript with our Your N.M. Government media partners New Mexico PBS and The Santa Fe Reporter, as well as New Mexico Political Report and the Farmington Daily Times. Find that here along with the video of her speech. 

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Let's Talk New Mexico 1/28, 8a: The state legislature is considering two new bills that could have a dramatic impact on New Mexico’s communities of color. House Bill 70 seeks to update our state’s domestic terrorism laws, but civil rights organizations claim that it targets communities of color, and that prosecutors should use existing laws at their disposal to hold white supremacists accountable. At the same time, New Mexican activists working to reform prisons and immigrant detention centers are pushing for House Bill 40 which would ban private prison contracts in our state, including at immigrant detention centers.