Author

Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann

Patrick Lohmann has been a reporter since 2007, when he wrote stories for $15 apiece at a now-defunct tabloid in Gallup, his hometown. Since then, he's worked at UNM's Daily Lobo, the Albuquerque Journal and the Syracuse Post-Standard. Along the way, he's won several state and national awards for his reporting, including for an exposé on a cult-like Alcoholics Anonymous group and a feature on an Upstate New York militia member who died of COVID-19. He's thrilled to be back home in New Mexico, where he works to tell stories that resonate and make an impact.

Red chile and red tape

By: - February 2, 2022

Chile farmworkers have alleged that a contractor stole wages he got through the Chile Labor Incentive Program, a $5 million government fund that raised pay to ease the labor shortage and save the harvest of the state’s staple crop.  An investigation by the state Department of Workforce Solutions concluded that the farmer did nothing wrong, […]

Protections for renters during an emergency move forward in Santa Fe

By: - February 1, 2022

Tenants in New Mexico are a step closer to being protected from certain evictions during a national emergency, like the one we’re in now, after a state House committee hearing on Monday.  The bill updating sections of state landlord-tenant law cleared the House Judiciary Committee in a 8-4 vote along party lines. Opponents said the […]

Pretrial detention bill clears House committee despite skepticism

By: - January 28, 2022

A bill that would keep more defendants in jail before trial advanced out of its first committee hearing Friday, even though some lawmakers who voted “yes” predict it will face legislative and legal challenges. The measure would create so-called “rebuttable presumptions,” which means defendants charged in serious crimes would be presumed to pose a danger […]

Bill spurring New Mexico hydrogen production stalls in committee

By: - January 28, 2022

A House committee on Thursday tabled a bill aimed at making New Mexico a hub of hydrogen production, adding a major hurdle for one of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s signature policy proposals this legislative session. The 6-4 vote to table the bill included two Democrats and came after six hours of debate in the House […]

Five people behind fake election certificates likely broke NM law, prof says

By: - January 25, 2022

The New Mexico Republicans who signed false certificates attempting to hand the state’s five electoral votes to former President Donald Trump likely violated state law and potentially federal law, according to a University of New Mexico law professor who’s been following the case.  The local Republicans on Dec. 14, 2020 signed certificates affirming that Donald […]

Anticipating barrage of lawsuits, state’s top water officials ask for more employees

By: - January 20, 2022

Officials in charge of New Mexico’s water said they need more staff to fend off lawsuits clawing at the state’s water supply, which is limited and shrinking. They expect more court battles to come as human-caused climate change increases average temperatures and aridity in the Southwest. “Controversies arise about waters that are crossing state boundaries, […]

Vacation rentals and Texans’ second homes would be taxed more under proposed bill

By: - January 19, 2022

A bipartisan bill introduced this legislative session aims to collect more in taxes from owners of properties used for AirBnB, and as second or third homes here. New Mexico caps the increase on assessed property value at 3% each year. It’s a policy meant to prevent owners from being driven out of their homes by […]

Governor adds rent reform to packed session schedule, but one big provision missing, advocates say

By: - January 17, 2022

New Mexico is one of 19 states where it is still legal for landlords to reject a tenant based on how they’re paying rent, be it a Section 8 voucher, a Veterans Affairs benefit or some other subsidy, according to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Citing omicron, NM House to put some meetings online for legislative session

By: and - January 13, 2022

New Mexico House Democrats, the majority party in the state, announced Thursday that committee hearings will be conducted online only. This announcement was made ahead of the 2022 legislative session, which convenes Tuesday.  It’s unclear at the moment whether the state Senate will do the same, and what both chambers’ choices will mean for members […]

Eviction ban is disappearing

By: - January 12, 2022

The Supreme Court last week announced the beginning of the end of the state’s eviction ban, one that has kept many New Mexicans housed amid a pandemic that destroyed the economy and killed thousands here. The court’s new order creating the Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program will take effect statewide in March. It will replace […]

Wait times increase in Albuquerque’s emergency rooms, as hospitals treat patients in hallways and chairs

By: - January 10, 2022

Leading doctors at Albuquerque’s two biggest hospitals urged residents not to visit emergency rooms unless they have a severe health issue, citing the surge of coronavirus patients that stretched hospitals beyond capacity.  Emergency room wait times at the University of New Mexico Hospital are regularly six hours for some patients, said Dr. Steve McLaughlin, chair […]

Wage boost for chile workers hangs in the balance, though some say the state could make it happen

By: - December 23, 2021

Some New Mexico farmers and their employees are bracing for a tough holiday season, many of them left on the hook after being promised a living wage to produce this winter’s red chile crop.  About $2.2 million in wage subsidies for thousands of workers is sitting unspent at the Department of Agriculture, the casualty of […]