State

New Mexico 2021 Legislative Session Begins At Noon Tuesday Against Bizarre Backdrop Never Seen Before

Roadblocks were up around the Capitol today, including at the corner of Don Gaspar Avenue and Paseo de Peralta. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/SFNM

Damacio Otero, deputy sergeant-at-arms of the state Senate, organizes bill books at the desk of Sen. Leo Jaramillo, D-Los Alamos, today at the Roundhouse. Photo by Luis Sánchez Saturno/SFNM

By ROBERT NOTT
Santa Fe New Mexican

The 2021 legislative session begins Tuesday at noon, against a bizarre backdrop that’s never been contemplated, much less seen.

The Capitol building remains surrounded by fencing, concrete barriers and blocked roads.


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New Mexico Lawmakers May Have To Wait Until November Or December To Tackle Major State Redistricting Plan

By ROBERT NOTT
SFNM

New Mexico lawmakers hoping to tackle a major state redistricting plan in a September special session got some surprising news today. 

They may have to wait until November or December, due to census data delays.

Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff, whose company Research & Polling Inc. plans to help compile data for the redistricting effort, told members of the Legislative Council the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the 2020 U.S. census, which will hinder New Mexico’s process of drawing new voting district boundaries based on population changes.

“We can’t do our work until


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New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 628 New Cases, Total Now 164,263 With 26 New Deaths And 87,502 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 628 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County reports no new cases today … the total remains at 393 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update includes 26 new deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reports today’s most recent cases:

  • 161 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 17 new cases in Chaves County
  • 4 new cases in Cibola County
  • 1 new case in Colfax County
  • 30 new cases in Curry County
  • 48 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 23 new cases in Eddy County
  • 6 new cases

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New Mexico Confirms Second COVID-19 Case With B.1.1.7 Coronavirus Variant

DOH News:

…States encourages residents to redouble COVID-safe practices

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Health has announced the state’s second COVID-19 case with the B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant.

This case is a close household contact of the first case, announced Jan. 13.

The female in her 30’s has experienced mild symptoms and has not required hospitalization. No additional close contacts outside of the household have been identified to date. 

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant first emerged in the UK in September 2020. There is no evidence that this variant causes more


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New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas Demands Couy Griffin Resign From Otero County Commission

From the Office of the Attorney General:

Office of the Attorney General to Seek Removal if Griffin Fails to Resign

SANTA FE  – Attorney General Hector Balderas announced today that he has demanded that Couy Griffin resign from the Otero County Commission.

In a letter sent to Griffin Saturday, the Attorney General demanded his resignation on multiple grounds, including accusations that he has misused public office for personal gain, has neglected his duties as a county commissioner, and because of his participation in the Jan. 6 insurrectionist attack on the United States Capitol.

The letter


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New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 751 New Cases, Total Now 163,637 With 22 New Deaths And 86,110 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 751 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County reports 4 more cases today … the total is now 393 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update includes 22 new deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

The New Mexico Department of Health reports today’s most recent cases:

  • 173 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 2 new cases in Catron County
  • 39 new cases in Chaves County
  • 8 new cases in Cibola County
  • 8 new cases in Colfax County
  • 18 new cases in Curry County
  • 106 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 21 new cases

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FBI Takes Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin Into Custody This Afternoon For His Alleged Role In Capitol Riots

 Arrested this afternoon for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin Tularosa, founder and president of Cowboys for Trump seen here in 2019 in Washington, D.C. Courtesy/YouTube

FBI News:

U.S. Capitol Police notified the FBI this afternoon that they had detained Couy Griffin, 47, of Tularosa (Griffin is an Otero County Commissioner.)

Griffin was the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Albuquerque FBI Division for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. 

The FBI Washington Field Office has taken Griffin into custody. 

Additional information


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New Mexico Department Of Finance And Administration Releases FY22 Executive Budget Recommendation

NMDFA News:

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Finance and Administration (NMDFA) Monday released the FY22 Executive Budget Recommendation from the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, totaling $7.3 Billion in recurring spending with a 3.3 percent increase.

The executive recommendation will maintain reserves at 25 percent, while increasing key state investments in priority areas like pandemic response, public education, early childhood services, and youth, adolescent and young adult wellbeing.

“Amid great adversity, I recommend a fiscally responsible budget while


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