Gov & Politics

How House Democrats would expand Medicare and Medicaid and lower prescription drug costs

BY: - September 17, 2021

WASHINGTON — New Medicare benefits for older Americans, like dental care. An expansion of eligibility for Medicaid for low-income people in Republican-controlled states that have declined to take that step. And potentially an historic effort to rein in prescription drug prices — if congressional Democrats can work through objections from moderates in their party. The massive […]

New state law banned a county’s gas stations from selling liquor. So some stopped selling gas.

BY: - September 16, 2021

A one-paragraph amendment to the state Legislature’s new, sweeping alcohol reform law gave owners of gas stations in McKinley County a choice: You can sell hard liquor. Or you can sell gas.  To Benjamin Gonzales, manager of the El Sabino’s grocery and gas station in Vanderwagen, N.M., it was a “no-brainer.” “We stopped selling gas […]

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 […]

Lawmaker: APD ‘tied their own hands’ with class-action jail settlement

BY: - September 16, 2021

A Democratic state lawmaker and former prosecutor says he sees a connection between rising violent crime and a 2017 settlement prohibiting Albuquerque police from arresting people accused of some misdemeanor crimes. In 2017, the city of Albuquerque settled with people incarcerated at the Metropolitan Detention Center who sued more than two decades earlier — in […]

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 […]

House spending bill would ban Chaco-area drilling; advocates say it’s not enough

BY: - September 15, 2021

A provision in the House of Representatives’ plan to spend $3.5 trillion would ban new oil and gas drilling around the Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, though an alliance fighting to protect the 1,000-year-old site says it doesn’t go far enough. Democrats in the U.S. House and Senate have worked out details on the package […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

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 […]