Pandemic relief spending package headed to governor’s desk

BY: - December 16, 2021

A spending bill that would use nearly half of the roughly $1.1 billion in remaining federal relief money given to New Mexico under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 is headed to the governor’s desk. The New Mexico House of Representatives just after 1 p.m. on Thursday agreed to the state Senate’s amendments to […]


How effective are vaccines against omicron? An epidemiologist answers 6 questions

BY: - December 16, 2021

The pandemic has brought many tricky terms and ideas from epidemiology into everyone’s lives. Two particularly complicated concepts are vaccine efficacy and effectiveness. These are not the same thing. And as time goes on and new variants like omicron emerge, they are changing, too. Melissa Hawkins is an epidemiologist and public health researcher at American University. She explains […]

Biden pick to lead FDA fields questions over pharma ties, abortion pill, COVID tests

BY: - December 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration drew praise from a top Senate Republican, as well as critical questions from conservatives and others during a Tuesday confirmation hearing. Dr. Robert Califf fielded queries on his ties to the pharmaceutical industry, the pandemic-loosened rules around abortion drugs, and frustrations involving COVID-19 […]

$478 million for state needs passed by the NM Senate, despite fears of a rushed process

BY: and - December 14, 2021

New Mexico is inching closer to spending nearly half of the roughly $1.1 billion in remaining federal relief money given to the state under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  The state Senate on Tuesday afternoon approved $478 million to be distributed to state agencies, covering housing services, upgrades to state parks, pre-trial services […]

Head of New Mexico child support agency asks state to stop intercepting payments to poor families

BY: - December 14, 2021

The head of New Mexico’s child support enforcement agency last week called for the state to end its practice of intercepting child support payments and tax refunds headed to poor mothers and children — which the state claims as repayment to the government for welfare the moms received in the past — a practice revealed […]

School of public health funding postponed until next month

BY: - December 12, 2021

A proposal to use $335 million in federal pandemic aid to rebuild New Mexico’s behavioral health system and establish a school of public health to deal with pandemics won’t make it through the special session. The Senate Finance Committee voted against the measure Saturday, Dec. 11, with the understanding that it will likely come back […]

CDC: 25 states report omicron strain of COVID-19, but delta remains biggest threat

BY: - December 10, 2021

WASHINGTON — Twenty-five states have identified cases of the new omicron variant of COVID-19, federal public health officials said Friday as they released new data on the first 43 U.S. cases. Of those initial, confirmed cases, more than half were among people between the ages of 18 and 39, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of […]

Spending bill with money for county hospitals clears the state’s House

BY: - December 10, 2021

New Mexico’s effort to divvy up $1.1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act money is another step closer — and spending is a little bit bigger.  Lawmakers are hammering out the details of allocating roughly half of that pot during this special session. The rest will likely be sorted out during January’s regular 30-day […]

U.S. Supreme Court allows legal challenges to Texas abortion law to proceed

BY: - December 10, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ruled that the legal challenge brought forward by abortion providers against Texas’ abortion restriction law may continue, bringing new life into what has become the most significant effort to overturn the statute so far. The court allowed the suit to continue on a 8-1 decision but did not stop […]

U.S. Senate rejects Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers

BY: - December 8, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate passed a resolution Wednesday night to block President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate on private employers, with every Republican and two Democrats casting votes aimed at preventing that pending requirement.  Democratic Sens. Jon Tester of Montana and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia joined with the GOP in backing the […]

Overfull hospitals a ‘grave situation,’ state health officials warn

BY: - December 8, 2021

More than 150 people were waiting for a bed at two major Albuquerque hospitals Tuesday, Dec. 7, a number that the state’s top health official says demonstrates the “really grave situation” facing patients in the state.  Dr. David Scrase, acting secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health, said in a news conference Wednesday afternoon […]

Lawmakers to take swing at spending $470 million

BY: - December 8, 2021

A line of public speakers formed at a legislative hearing where lawmakers are  trying to spend nearly half a billion dollars of federal money. About a dozen more waited patiently on Zoom. The speakers, all lobbyists or members of different public service groups, made pitches Tuesday afternoon to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee about […]