Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher

Austin Fisher is a journalist based in Santa Fe. He has worked for newspapers in New Mexico and his home state of Kansas, including the Topeka Capital-Journal, the Garden City Telegram, the Rio Grande SUN and the Santa Fe Reporter. Since starting a full-time career in reporting in 2015, he’s aimed to use journalism to lift up voices that typically go unheard in public debates around economic inequality, policing and environmental racism.

New Mexico to kick COVID vaccines, treatments to the private market

By: - March 6, 2023

With the stroke of a pen, New Mexico’s governor and state health department determined the protections afforded under the public health emergency are no longer needed, including free SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and tests. They announced on Friday afternoon that the state’s public health emergency for COVID-19 will end on March 31, part of what state and […]

A hand-made sign that reads "Dale Mobile Village" is flanked by multiple "no tresspassing" signs.

Mobile home park tenants get eviction notice after 45 years

By: - March 3, 2023

SANTA FE COUNTY — What used to be called the Dale Mobile Village was named after the owner Jack Dale, who ran the place for decades with his wife. It’s a tight-knit community in a rural part of Santa Fe County that has been shaken up in part by a change in ownership. Dale’s children […]

a group of ten people are shown in a commercial kitchen space, using a large table to organize and package supplies. they are wearing masks and gloves.

As food benefits become scarce, mutual aid shows there’s plenty to go around

By: - March 1, 2023

More than half a million New Mexicans relying on food assistance saw a significant drop in their monthly benefits on Wednesday as the federal government suspended the pandemic expansion of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. State officials have said they are expanding outreach to rural communities and communities of color to help people apply and […]

A person stands at a large wooden podium, smiling at the crowd off camera. She is surrounded by stone walls, and part of the shape of the state of New Mexico etched in the wall behind her.

Public health councils struggle for funding in the Roundhouse

By: - February 28, 2023

Advocates for New Mexico’s local community health planning councils are scrambling to revive support after a House panel last week blocked a proposal to finally provide them with the money needed to carry out their public health mission. Thirty-three health councils operate in every county in New Mexico, and another nine are based in tribal […]

Most NM workers would get paid time off under plans headed to Senate

By: - February 24, 2023

Over the objection of its leader, a panel of state senators on Thursday endorsed a proposal to allow nearly all workers in New Mexico to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year and still receive part of their income. The Senate Finance Committee voted 6-5 to pass Senate Bill 11, which would […]

NM Senate moves to abolish life without parole for children sentenced as adults

By: - February 23, 2023

The New Mexico Senate endorsed a proposal to end life without parole as a sentencing option for children, and decrease how long someone convicted as a juvenile would have to be in prison before a parole board could consider their case. In a bipartisan 32-8 vote, senators passed Senate Bill 64, known as the Second […]

Three people stand outdoors, holding signs in support of telework. They are bundled up against cold and wet weather.

House panel kills telework bill in first hearing

By: - February 22, 2023

A bill that would have given New Mexico state government workers the right to work from home will not reach a vote in either chamber of the state legislature. The House Labor, Veterans’ and Military Affairs Committee on Tuesday voted 7-4 to table House Bill 300. Tabled bills rarely return in the same session. House […]

CWA Local 7076 Treasurer Anne Keller (left) wore a union jacket to the rally on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. outside the Roundhouse as lawmakers gathered for the start of the legislative session.

NM state agencies denying telework as a disability accommodation

By: - February 21, 2023

Sylvia Burton thought she had more time.  When the pandemic reached New Mexico in March 2020, Burton, a financial specialist with 20 years of experience working for the New Mexico Environment Department, had to leave her middle cubicle surrounded by others in a large office suite in the Harold Runnels Building in Santa Fe. Burton […]

Three people stand behind a podium in a government meeting room. News media microphones sit all over the podium, stretching up to hear them speak.

NM budget doesn’t include money for cleaning air in schools

By: - February 17, 2023

The state budget passed by the New Mexico House of Representatives on Thursday includes $8.6 billion for education. It contains precisely zero money for public schools to upgrade their heating and air conditioning systems to clean indoor air well enough to remove coronavirus and other airborne harms. COVID-19 continues to kill more than 450 people […]

Proposal to lower NM voting age blocked by Democratic committee chair

By: - February 15, 2023

Even with a trifecta of Democratic majorities in the House, Senate and governor’s office, a proposal spearheaded by Democratic lawmakers to expand voting rights to 16 and 17-year-old New Mexicans died in its first committee hearing. The House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee voted on Feb. 11 not to pass House Bill 217, which […]

While debating restructuring the NM Legislature, volunteer legislators run out of time

By: - February 14, 2023

A panel of New Mexico lawmakers started to debate proposed changes to the structure of the Legislature itself, but ran out of time before they could finish their business. The House Judiciary Committee passed two bills along party line votes on Monday, and it was like watching in real time the criticism that the way […]

New Mexico Senate to weigh probation and parole reforms

By: - February 13, 2023

When a person gets out of prison in New Mexico and breaks the rules of their probation or parole, they are sent back to prison. But it’s not usually a new crime that lands them back behind the walls. In fact, 70% of the people in that situation have committed a “technical” infraction, according to […]