New Mexico Legislature

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Let's Talk New Mexico 4/08 8am: Last week in a special session of the New Mexico Legislature lawmakers moved to legalize recreational cannabis and Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign the legislation. The changes allows individuals to grow for personal use or to sell with a micro-business license and they create a structure that will gradually increase taxes over time. A separate bill allows for the expungement of criminal records for some past marijuana offenses.

 

On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll look at what the legislation contains, how it structures legalization and the timeline.

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  On March 30, the New Mexico Legislature convenes for a special session to focus on legalizing cannabis. A bill made it past the House in the regular session but stalled in the Senate. Reporter Natalie Fertig with Politico covers cannabis policy around the country and has been closely watching the process in New Mexico. She spoke with KUNM's Megan Kamerick her along with my co-host Andy Lyman from New Mexico Political Report for the podcast “Growing Forward: Cannabis and New Mexico.”

Cannabis Reports via Flickr / Creative Commons https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

The New Mexico Legislature failed to pass a bill legalizing recreational cannabis before the 2021 session ended on March 20. Now Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has called a special session for March 30 to take up the issue. But advocates for traditional and rural communities say despite the equity provisions in the bill that died, there was not enough consideration of impacts on rural communities.

New Mexico PBS

Every 10 years after the census, the New Mexico state Legislature redraws its districts. While redistricting is always a contentious and often partisan task, this year, the drama is being felt by both parties. On Saturday, a compromise was reached: An independent committee would offer three to five maps that lawmakers choose from—and can change—before sending one to the governor. This clears the way for the bill to hit the Senate floor. KUNM spoke with Gwyneth Doland of New Mexico PBS to get a breakdown of the situation.

My 420 Tours via Flickr / Creative Commons . https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/

  A total of five bills have been introduced in this year's legislative session to legalize recreational cannabis. Despite this being a legislative priority, the New Mexico Senate only began debate on bills on February 27. Meanwhile, House Bill 12 passed the full House and has moved to the Senate.

But the clock is ticking for legalization to happen this year, with the session ending on March 20. KUNM's Megan Kamerick spoke with Andy Lyman with New Mexico Political Report, her co-host on the New Mexico PBS podcast “Growing Forward: Cannabis in New Mexico” to get an update on where things stand and why this push is happening so late in the 60-day session. The Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee was slated to take up debate on Saturday, March 6, on recreational cannabis legalization bills. They have since rescheduled that for Tuesday, March 9.

Tuesday, 11/24, 8a: The push for the legalization of recreational cannabis has really picked up in recent years in the New Mexico legislature. In this week's episode, we look back at those efforts to date, and the strategy behind the legislation proposed in past sessions.

Tuesday, 11/10, 8a:  The New Mexico Legislature will almost certainly take up legalizing recreational cannabis in January. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has made it is a priority, and lawmakers are debating the merits and downsides of legalization.

This is why NM Political Report and New Mexico PBS, with the help of a grant from the New Mexico Local News Fund, launched “Growing Forward” a 10-episode podcast examining cannabis. 

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This week, New Mexico voters blew past turnout records of years past, and pushed the state Senate further to the left. That means that in the next legislative session, some policies and plans might be on the table that weren’t before. KUNM's Megan Kamerick spoke with Marjorie Childress, who wrote about the progressive shift for New Mexico In Depth.

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A bill that requires all law enforcement officers in New Mexico to wear body cameras passed out of the state legislature Monday and now awaits Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature. Research out of George Mason University last year, which reviewed 70 studies on the body-worn cameras, found that the devices don’t have a significant or consistent impact on most officer behavior, or how community members view the police. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with Barron Jones, Senior Policy Analyst with the ACLU of New Mexico, about whether mandating police body cameras statewide is a meaningful step for New Mexico to take as it seeks to reform policing in response to renewed calls for change here and across the country. 

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A nonpartisan statewide think tank is warning the high rate of seniors living in poverty in New Mexico could grow without significant changes. Think New Mexico is supporting legislation to curtail what policy experts there call a crisis in retirement security that is quietly growing throughout the state. KUNM spoke with Executive Director Fred Nathan about reforms he says are necessary to protect the state’s seniors, now and in the future.

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A bill that will allow people with terminal illnesses to get medical help to end their lives made it through a legislative committee Monday.

Audit Points To Medical Mistakes In N.M. Prisons

Dec 20, 2018
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When people are behind bars, the government is responsible for their health care. That’s in the U.S. Constitution. Anything less is considered cruel and unusual punishment. But New Mexico has a history of struggling to meet that obligation. Lawsuits about deaths and permanent health damage pile up.

Arianna Sena/KUNM

Senator Howie Morales (D-Silver City) gave the Democratic response to Governor Susana Martinez's 2018 State of the State address. 

We collaborated with New Mexico PBS, NMPolitics.net and NMPoliticalReport on the annotations below. 

Thaliesin via Pixabay / Creative Commons License

The state spent almost half its 2015 child behavioral health dollars on expensive outpatient programs that have not been shown to be effective, according to a report presented to lawmakers Wednesday.

Amending New Mexico's Convoluted Constitution

Mar 24, 2017
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State lawmakers proposed 32 changes to the New Mexico Constitution during this year’s 60-day legislative session. Only two passed – they’ll likely be approved by voters in 2018. But the state constitution is already 4.5 times longer than the federal one. So, what does it mean when a constitution looks more like a user’s manual than a clear, concise list of fundamental rights?

Election 2016: Shake Up At The Roundhouse

Nov 9, 2016
ANNAfoxlover via Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Democrats Win Majority In New Mexico House – The Associated Press

The Democratic Party has won a majority of seats in the New Mexico House of Representatives, taking back control of the chamber from the GOP.

Group Pushes Alcohol Tax Hike

Sep 12, 2016
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An organization based in Santa Fe is hoping lawmakers will consider a plan in an upcoming special session that would raise taxes on all alcoholic beverages. The group recently commissioned a poll that found a majority of New Mexicans are in favor that idea—but Governor Susana Martinez has said she won’t support any kind of tax hike.

LISTEN: Special New Mexico Primary Election Coverage

Jun 7, 2016
New Mexico PBS

KUNM teamed up with New Mexico PBS for a New Mexico primary election special featuring results and analysis from political observers and reporters. Gene Grant of New Mexico in Focus and Ed Williams of the KUNM Public Health New Mexico project hosted the conversation.