New Mexico Legislature

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.

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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
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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.