Briefs

Neighbors in ABQ’s International District seek more power in new political maps

BY: - September 17, 2021

Residents of Albuquerque’s International District are lobbying legislators to merge their neighborhoods into a single political district, saying the current political map dilutes the power of an area that needs a unified voice to address its challenges.  Five residents have spoken at meetings of the Citizen Redistricting Committee in recent weeks, according to meeting minutes. […]

NM landlords refusing rent assistance during hot housing, rental markets

BY: - September 16, 2021

Some New Mexico landlords are refusing to accept rental assistance that would keep their tenants housed, opting instead to sell their properties or raise rent on a new tenant, an expert testified today before a legislative committee. Maria Griego, a director at the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, said the landlords’ refusals are […]

Huge dip in school COVID cases draws cautious optimism

BY: - September 16, 2021

It might be a bright spot for New Mexico public schools fighting COVID-19. It might be an anomaly.  Either way, Public Education Secretary-designate Kurt Steinhaus is cautiously optimistic at the 37% dip in on-campus infections.  “When I looked at that, the first time I thought, hmm, we better double check the data and make sure […]

N.M. extends indoor mask mandate to Oct. 15

BY: - September 15, 2021

Keep your mask up, New Mexico. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s office announced New Mexico will extend the state’s indoor mask mandate until Oct. 15.  The requirement was reinstated in August as COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations rose in the state. Another public health order requiring health care workers and public schools employees to be vaccinated or […]

Carving up voting districts: First drafts of redistricting maps due out this week

BY: - September 15, 2021

Members of the public will get their first look this week at maps that could become the new political boundaries in New Mexico.  How those boundaries are drawn plays a large role in how political power is distributed. When politicians shape the districts so one party always has the advantage, that’s gerrymandering. Redistricting fights in […]

Emergency food assistance extended through the end of the month

BY: - September 14, 2021

Expanded government aid meant to keep New Mexicans from going hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic has been extended through the end of September. The program was set to expire in August, but the federal government granted New Mexico an extension. Since March 2020, U.S. residents getting help from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) have […]

Rep. Stansbury amendment could pay for Pueblo water projects

BY: - September 14, 2021

A long-standing water irrigation project benefitting Pueblos along the Rio Grande in New Mexico could finally see the funding it requested for years. An amendment in the House Democrats spending bill could give $200 million to the Rio Grande Pueblos Irrigations Improvement Project. U.S. Rep. Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) said she requested the amendment through the […]

Website shows amount NM schools received from feds — and what districts spent

BY: - September 13, 2021

Want to see if New Mexico schools are spending the federal pandemic relief money?  There’s a website for you. Check it.  New Mexico’s Public Education Department launched a site that gives people a view into school district spending of CARES Act money for Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER). The site now details specific […]

Photo of Albuquerque police car

Albuquerque asks state for millions to help stop violent crime

BY: - September 13, 2021

The city of Albuquerque is asking New Mexico lawmakers for $10 million to expand its Violence Intervention Program. The program, started in March 2020, identifies people who are at the highest risk of being involved in “the current cycles of gun violence,” then employs peer support workers to offer “an exit from the dangerous life […]

State needs to legalize testing strips to prevent overdose deaths, harm reduction expert says

BY: - September 10, 2021

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is much more potent than heroin, has entered New Mexico’s drug market and can make drug use more dangerous and even fatal. Fentanyl is killing more people in the state than heroin and prescription opioids now, according to health officials.  Overdose deaths have increased in the state, with fentanyl-related deaths […]

Acequias can help fend off some climate change impacts, researchers say

BY: - September 9, 2021

Centuries-old acequia systems in New Mexico can help offset some effects of climate change, according to Dr. Connie Maxwell, a researcher at the Water and Community Collaboration Lab at New Mexico State University.  Her presentation to legislators on Tuesday, Sept. 7, says acequias can mimic slowly melting snowpack, the biggest source of water in the […]

Behavioral health provider: ‘I just hope that we’ve learned from history’

BY: - September 8, 2021

Providers are asking New Mexico lawmakers to rebuild the state’s behavioral health care system, which is still plagued by problems after former Gov. Susana Martinez caused many providers to shut down about eight years ago.   Lawrence Medina, executive director of the Rio Grande Alcoholism Treatment Program in Taos, N.M., suggested lawmakers provide funding needed to […]