Roundhouse

In episode 78 we discuss what’s happening in Santa Fe at the legislative special session. It’s a unique situation up there; COVID-19 precautions have led to a locked-in session with no opportunity for citizens to attend in person. But first, we hear from organizers of the Albuquerque Juneteenth celebration commemorating 155 years since the official end of slavery in Texas, with the entire United States following soon after. 

Granger Meador via Flickr / Creative Commons

The New Mexico Legislature encountered many technical hurdles during its first day of the emergency special session called to patch up a budget thrashed by coronavirus. But the Roundhouse is also closed to the public due to concerns about viral spread; lawmakers, staffers and the media are the only ones allowed in the building. The doors are locked. There was a small group of protesters outside on Thursday wanting to go in and see their lawmakers in action. KUNM’s Nash Jones spoke with Khalil Ekulona, host of Your New Mexico Government, about a session that’s hard to access in every way.

Let's Talk Ethics and Lobbying at the Roundhouse

Mar 4, 2020
Arianna Sena / KUNM

  Let's Talk New Mexico 3/5 8a: Lobbyists spent more than $195,000 on events, meals and giveaways for state legislators during the 2019 legislative session, working out to more than $6,500 a day. Ethics advocates worry that this kind of spending influences those legislators’ decisions in the Roundhouse, and think the public has a right to know exactly what’s going on.

puroticorico via Flickr / Creative Commons

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham delivers the annual State of the State address today at the Roundhouse in Santa Fe, launching the 2020 legislative session. KUNM fact-checks and provides context for her remarks live with our Your N.M. Government media partners New Mexico PBS and The Santa Fe Reporter, as well as the New Mexico Political Report, Searchlight New Mexico and The Alamogordo Daily News

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.

Let's Talk About The Upcoming 2019 Legislative Session

Jan 9, 2019
Arianna Sena/KUNM

Let's Talk New Mexico 1/10 8a: Education is the top priority for New Mexico's new governor and Democratic legislative leaders as the 2019 State Legislature begins a new session next week. What would you like to see lawmakers achieve in the session? What issues are most important to you? And what would you like to see news organizations cover during the session? Our panel of local journalists will discuss the top issues for the session and our coverage priorities. And we'd like to hear from you! Email LetsTalk@KUNM.org, tweet to #LetsTalkNM or call in live during the show. 

Hannah Colton / KUNM

In Bernalillo County’s Metro Court, judges hear cases about drunk driving, domestic violence, drugs, traffic tickets, and small civil claims. It’s the busiest court in the state and the only one like it here. Here’s how it works: When someone wants to appeal a decision from Metro Court, they have to present the case again at District Court across the street and get an OK before it heads up to Appeals Court. This election, there’s a constitutional amendment on the ballot that would free lawmakers up to change this appeals system.

RICHIE DIESTERHEFT VIA FLICKR / CREATIVE COMMONS

Most other states around the country have some kind of watchdog agency in place to investigate politicians and other powerful people entrusted with public dollars. But New Mexico doesn’t have anything like that. So would a commission with the power to investigate and field ethics complaints help stop corruption here? The issue will be on ballots in November.

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.

Andrew Lyman / NM Political Report

Gov. Susana Martinez will give the final State of the State address of her second term on Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the start of the legislative session. She’ll likely be framing her legacy as someone who’s been tough on crime.

JHarrelson

Governor Susana Martinez gave her State of the State address Tuesday in Santa Fe. We'll have details during All Things Considered on KUNM. You can read her prepared remarks below. 

Thanks to New Mexico PBS for partnering with us on this coverage. Find analysis as it continues below, livestreaming from New Mexico PBS.

Lisa Brewster / Creative Commons via Flickr

A bill that uses liquor taxes to fund tuition assistance is set to expire next year. If that happens, students will have to dig even deeper into their pockets to pay for schooling. University of New Mexico students planned to raise the issue at the Roundhouse Monday.