KUNM

Public Health New Mexico

Mission

KUNM‘s Public Health New Mexico reporting project provides in-depth, investigative and continuous coverage of public health in New Mexico, with an emphasis on poverty.

We cover the politicians, the policies, and the agencies responsible for sustaining public health and solving poverty. To fully report on these topics, we give voice to those who are voiceless in the media: people and practitioners; advocates and analysts; researchers and activists; and people hoping to build a better way of life. Through our work, citizens are engaged, government is made more accountable, and the profile of public health and poverty is elevated by expanded public discourse and civic engagement.

This project has been sustained by support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundationthe McCune Charitable FoundationCon Alma Health Foundation. and private donors.

KUNM broadcasts on transmitter throughout central and northern New Mexico, reaching more than half the state’s population.  Nielsen Audio Research from Fall 2014 shows 100,000 people a week listen to KUNM.

NM Legislature webcast

With a little over a week left in the session, some lawmakers aren’t ready to give up on a proposal to devote more Land Grant Permanent Fund earnings to early childhood education. A bill that would have put the idea to voters died in the Senate Rules Committee earlier this week. But Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham showed up at a committee hearing this morning to push for a scaled-back version.

David Holt via Flickr / Creative Commons License

A bill that would require universal background checks for almost all gun sales is a signature away from becoming law in New Mexico.

More than two-dozen sheriffs signed a letter opposing it, but the Albuquerque Police Department’s on board.

Nduati.githae via Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons

 

School-based health centers provide basic health care to students across the state. Several communities have lost theirs due to budget cuts over the last few years.

But some advocates are optimistic that these health care hubs could be revitalized this session.

Fibonacci Blue via Flickr / Creative Commons


Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham is expected to sign a measure into law that will require background checks for virtually all private gun sales except for sales of antiques and between relatives.

 

Gun safety advocates have been pushing for this type of legislation for years.

Ammodramus / Creative Commons

Nearly a quarter of New Mexicans live in rural areas, where things like high-speed internet, free meeting spaces and educational opportunities can be scarce. Public libraries are sometimes the only place to access those resources, and most are run on shoestring budgets or with volunteer support. Lawmakers have been looking at a bill to provide a permanent source of funding to rural libraries, but state Senators took most of the money out before passing it on the Senate floor on Friday. 

Courtesy of the Adelante Development Center / Adelante Development Center

 

Some folks who receive Social Security disability benefits qualify for a free federal work program that can help them find a job.

Few eligible New Mexicans actually enrolled in the program last year, but participation is improving some.

Ken Lund / Creative Commons

Let's Talk New Mexico 2/28 8a: Public charter schools play an important and often controversial role in our education system. On the show, we'll ask how charter schools can be great at meeting students’ unique needs, even while the charter school system can exacerbate inequalities between public schools. Do you or someone you know work at or go to a charter school? How did that go? We’d like to hear from you. Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet your comment with the hashtag #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show.

Hannah Colton / KUNM

Tucked inside a major education bill New Mexico lawmakers are considering is an age cap that would ban public schools from getting funding for students older than 21. The idea is that anyone 22-and-up could pursue the GED instead of a high school diploma, but staff and students at Gordon Bernell Charter School (GBCS) in Albuquerque are calling for lawmakers to spare their program.

Navajo Tech

Tribal colleges are the only public higher education institutions in New Mexico where students cannot use the state lottery scholarship. A measure approved by the Senate Education Committee on Friday morning would change that.

May Ortega | KUNM

New Mexico has one of the highest suicide rates in the country. And more than half of those deaths involved a gun.

Some state lawmakers want to reduce suicides by confiscating guns from people who could pose a danger to themselves or others.

The measure’s known as a red flag law.

photo by Sgt. Jim Greenhill / U.S. Army

New Mexico Governor Pulls National Guard Troops From Border - Associated Press

The governor of New Mexico is withdrawing the majority of the state's National Guard troops from the U.S. border with Mexico in a move that challenges President Trump's description of a security crisis.

Ben White via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

UPDATE 2/11: The Domestic Violence and Firearm Possession bill has made it past the state House floor and now heads to the Senate. 

New Mexico’s Indian Education Act just got an update. A bill signed by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Monday spells out how school districts must study the needs of their Native American students and come up with systematic ways to address them.

The new measure requires school districts with Native American students to develop frameworks and budget priorities to help those students succeed.

rawpixel via Unsplash / Unsplash Attribution License

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would let residents who aren’t eligible for Medicaid coverage to buy into the program.

 

Nearly one million low-income New Mexicans were covered in 2017 when the state chipped in $1 billion of $5 billion for things like health care services.

Adam Herrada / U.S. Navy

Let’s Talk New Mexico 2/7 8a:  Early childhood is a crucial time for learning and development. It’s on the minds of many lawmakers this session, and Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has declared universal pre-K one of her top priorities. But where will funding for those programs come from? And how can the state better coordinate the various services to ensure kids don’t miss out? We’d like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet us using the #LetsTalkNM hashtag, or call in live during the show.  

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