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.

Sen. Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque) walks toward her seat in the front of the New Mexico House of Representatives chamber in Santa Fe to watch the 2023 State of the State speech on Jan. 17.

Statehouse leaders to assert ‘legislative privilege’ in redistricting lawsuit

By: - July 18, 2023

As a state district court judge decides whether New Mexico’s congressional map signed into law in 2021 is a partisan gerrymander, he will have to figure out a way to properly question the lawmakers who drew it. Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Fred Van Soelen met by phone on Monday morning with attorneys representing the […]

As many as 20,000 New Mexicans experience homelessness over the course of the year

By: - July 14, 2023

The most commonly cited data point for tracking how many New Mexicans do not have homes is underestimating the actual number of unhoused people in the state. By a lot. At the beginning of 2023, there were an estimated 3,842 unhoused people in the state, according to a point-in-time count conducted each year by the […]

Nearly 60,000 New Mexicans purged from the Medicaid rolls (so far)

By: - July 12, 2023

In the first two months since New Mexico started disenrolling people from the state’s safety-net health insurance program for the very poor, nearly 60,000 New Mexicans lost their health insurance. And almost every one of them lost their only way to afford health care, not because their income changed and they became ineligible, but because […]

(De)serving Life: A community led parole preparation project for New Mexico

By: - July 7, 2023

Juvenile parole reform is now law in New Mexico and the work is just beginning.  The same community of people who fought for the change in parole law are coming together to make sure those impacted have the support they need when they go in front of the New Mexico Parole Board, and as they […]

Addiction medication scripts going unfilled in northern New Mexico

By: - July 6, 2023

ESPAÑOLA—Ronnie Flores feels more comfortable on the streets talking to people who are using drugs than he does talking to the people in the hospital who are treating substance use disorder. As a peer support specialist at Presbyterian Española Hospital, Flores helps people suffering from substance use disorders relating to opioids, stimulants and alcohol. Flores, […]

‘Safe staffing saves lives’: UNM Hospital workers protest understaffing and unfair wages

By: - June 23, 2023

Unionized health care workers at the largest hospital system in New Mexico have been in contract negotiations with their bosses since December, with little to show for it. On Thursday, they protested unsafe working conditions and unfair wages outside the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, hoping to pressure management to come to the […]

SCOTUS ruling on ICWA a victory for welfare of Native American children

By: - June 15, 2023

Native people in New Mexico and legal experts applauded the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Thursday leaving intact the civil rights law called the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), which they see as a victory for the welfare of Native American children by bolstering their connections to tribes and their land. The case centers on […]

NM Law Enforcement Academy Board holds final meeting

By: - June 15, 2023

The board that has overseen New Mexico’s police training and certification agency since 1969 held its last meeting ever on Wednesday, and will split in two as a result of a new state law going into effect this summer. The seven-member New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy Board will be bifurcated into the Law Enforcement Standards […]

Legislature’s health panel picks top three topics for the rest of 2023

By: - June 13, 2023

The panel in charge of health issues at the New Mexico Legislature set its agenda for the rest of 2023, with an emphasis on child abuse and neglect, substance use disorder, and the health care workforce. At its first meeting between legislative sessions on Monday, the Legislative Health and Human Services Committee sorted through input […]

Indian Affairs Committee sets interim legislative agenda

By: - June 12, 2023

The Indian Affairs Committee met on Friday to set its agenda and meeting schedule for the rest of 2023. Topics expected to be discussed by the committee are organized below by broad policy areas. The Secretary of State, the Native American Voters Alliance and other elections groups will discuss tribal election issues An update on […]

After vetoes, lawmakers want to bring back hundreds of millions in tax cuts

By: - June 9, 2023

New Mexico’s governor vetoed most of the tax reforms passed by state lawmakers last session, and now a panel in charge of tax policy wants to bring them back in 2024. Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) said Thursday some legislators are frustrated with the partial vetoes of the tax package by Gov. […]

Albuquerque High School

School building agency has only one application for Pre-K

By: - June 7, 2023

State lawmakers learned public school buildings in New Mexico have just one pending application for improvements to pre-Kindergarten buildings. New Mexico lawmakers who sit on the Public School Capital Outlay Oversight Task Force oversee the work of the Public School Capital Outlay Council. In late May, they heard the testimony during an interim legislative committee […]