State

NMDOT Promotes Safe Rides Through Super Bowl Weekend

Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval

NMDOT News:

SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) and the Governor’s Highway Safety Association (GHSA) have partnered with Lyft to offer safe rides in New Mexico now through Super Bowl weekend, Feb. 8, 2021, to combat drunk driving.

Participants will receive a $20 Lyft credit to be used up to two times per Lyft account. 

Rides are offered anywhere statewide where Lyft is available. Participants may access the credit through the Lyft app using the code: NMSuper21.

Tips are not included, and refunds are not provided for trips costing


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New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 635 New Cases, Total Now 169,205 With 30 New Deaths And 94,141 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 635 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County reports 4 new cases today bringing the total to 424 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update includes 30 new deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

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

  • 146 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 21 new cases in Chaves County
  • 5 new cases in Cibola County
  • 5 new cases in Colfax County
  • 12 new cases in Curry County
  • 69 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 34 new cases in Eddy County
  • 5 new cases

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Profile: New Minority Floor Leader Sen. Greg Baca

Sen. Greg Baca works on a client case file at his law office in Los Lunas on Friday afternoon. Baca, a former Navy veteran, is the new Senate minority leader. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen, stands on Friday afternoon in front of a colorful mural dedicated to Belen. Baca, a former Navy veteran, is the new minority floor leader. Gabriela Campos/The New Mexican

By ROBERT NOTT
rnott@sfnewmexican.com

The ocean. Greg Baca had never seen anything like it.

A product of desert terrain — he was born in Belen in 1971 — Baca looked out over the watery expanse of the Atlantic from the


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Jennifer A. Catechis Appointed First Woman Deputy Superintendent Of Insurance In State Of New Mexico

Deputy Superintendent Jennifer A. Catechis

OSI News:

SANTA FE — The Office of Superintendent of Insurance (OSI) announced Friday that Jennifer A. Catechis, MBA is the new Deputy Superintendent of Insurance. Her employment with OSI began Jan. 9, 2021.

Catechis takes the place of Robert Doucette, Jr. who held the position for the past six years. Catechis is the first woman and first Hispanic/Latina woman to hold this position for the state of New Mexico.

Catechis has more than 15 years of senior management experience, including more than a decade as the District State Chief of Staff for former


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American Federation Of Teachers New Mexico And NEA New Mexico React To Cancellation Of Vaccines For Educators

AFT News:

American Federation of Teachers New Mexico President Stephanie Ly, National Education Association-New Mexico President Mary Parr-Sanchez, and Rio Rancho School Employees Union President Billie Helean released the following statement:

“Despite scheduling vaccination events in conjunction with Rio Rancho Public Schools, Sandoval County, and the Sandoval Regional Medical Center and educational staff being included in New Mexico’s vaccination Phase 1B, the last minute cancellation of distribution of vaccines to Rio Rancho Public School Employees is a cruel and short-sighted


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Committee Passes Rules Protecting Health And Safety Of House Staff And Legislators At 2021 Legislative Session

House Parliamentarian Rep. Daymon Ely

STATE News:

SANTA FE — Proposed House rule changes to help ensure that the 2021 Legislative Session is safe for the public, staff and legislators during “an ongoing and deadly pandemic”, passed the House Rules and Order of Business Committee Friday.  

House Resolution 1, sponsored by the House Parliamentarian Rep. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales), would enact rule changes, which govern the way House members participate and vote.

The proposed rule changes include:

  • Permitting members to participate and vote remotely 
  • Allowing the public to call in or provide

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New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 859 New Cases, Total Now 168,579 With 38 New Deaths And 93,141 Patients Recovered

STATE News:

SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials announced this afternoon 859 additional positive tests for COVID-19.

Los Alamos County reports 2 new cases today bringing the total to 420 people who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Today’s update includes 38 new deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

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

  • 184 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 30 new cases in Chaves County
  • 15 new cases in Cibola County
  • 22 new cases in Curry County
  • 74 new cases in Doña Ana County
  • 49 new cases in Eddy County
  • 13 new cases in Grant County
  • 1 new case

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Chart 315: COVID-19 In New Mexico Jan. 23, 2021

The bars in this chart show the percentage of the population that have received a COVID-19 vaccination in each state. New Mexico and its five surrounding states are highlighted. So far, 20.5 million doses have been administered nationwide, including 184,698 in New Mexico. Source: New York Times. Created by Eli Ben-Naim

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Lahiri-Gupta: A Public Plea Against HB-70

By Soumyo Lahiri-Gupta
Los Alamos
(Studying at American University Washington College of Law)

Remember back in July when Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales drew heavy criticism for cooperating with federal agents and allowing them to patrol the streets of Albuquerque in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests? HB-70 would formalize that cooperation statewide. 

House Bill 70, titled “Domestic Terrorism Definitions”, appears to be a reactionary Bill written in the aftermath of the Capitol Riots in the beginning of January.

The Bill amends three existing statutes:

  • Homeland

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