Universal Health Care Planning Board Passes Committee

NM House Democrats News:

SANTA FE — Legislation taking the first step toward providing universal health care specific to New Mexico passed the House Health and Human Services Committee Wednesday. 

Sponsored by Rep. Deborah Armstrong (D-Albuquerque), Rep. Tara Lujan (D-Santa Fe) and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D – Albuquerque), House Bill 203 creates a Health Security Planning and Design Board, tasked with supplying recommendations for the design of a health security program that would provide guaranteed health care coverage for all New Mexicans.

The plan will address:

  • Provider


Chart 344 COVID-19 In New Mexico Feb. 21, 2021

This chart shows the current minimum age requirement for vaccination of older Americans by state. Age eligibility does depend on the county in Kentucky, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, and Tennessee. Additionally, people over the age of 16 may qualify for a vaccine based on occupation or medical risk factors. Source: New York Times. Map: Created by Eli Ben Naim


Legislative Roundup: 27 Days Left In 2021 Session

Legislative Roundup

Collins confirmed: The Senate on Friday confirmed the appointment of Dr. Tracie Collins as secretary of the state Department of Health by a 38-1 vote, with Sen. Craig Brandt, R-Rio Rancho, casting the lone dissenting vote.

Brandt said he sent Collins two separate letters and never received a response.

“I do not believe that the lack of response is good policy, a good way to run the department,” he said, adding Collins said during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Rules Committee she had never received the letters.

During the committee hearing and then on the


New Mexico COVID-19 Update: 320 New Cases, Total Now 182,789 With 14 New Deaths And 132,219 Patients Recovered


SANTA FE – New Mexico state health officials today announced 320 additional COVID-19 cases.

Los Alamos County reports no new cases today so the total remains at 473 people who have tested positive for COVID-19. (County totals are subject to change upon further investigation and determination of residency of individuals positive for COVID-19.)

Today’s update includes 14 more deaths in New Mexico related to COVID-19.

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

  • 101 new cases in Bernalillo County
  • 13 new cases in Chaves County
  • 1 new case in Cibola County
  • 3


New Mexico Chamber Of Commerce And 21 Other State Business Groups Take Aim At Legislative Priorities

New Mexico Chamber President/CEO Rob Black


The New Mexico Chamber of Commerce and 21 other state business groups — including the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce — are asking the Legislature to refocus the 60-day session on promoting long-term economic recovery and competitiveness.

The group made the request via an advertisement that ran in nine of the state’s largest papers, including the Wednesday issue of The New Mexican, and drew the ire of House Speaker Brian Egolf, who defended the Democratic-controlled Legislature’s work on economic issues.

New Mexico Chamber


U.S. Army Partners With Air Force’s THOR For Base Defense

THOR Program Manager Amber Anderson walks with Army Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood to the test range to watch THOR disable drones. Courtesy/AFRL

Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office leaders enter the portable control center of THOR to view the system’s drone-killing capabilities. Photo by John Cochran

AFRL News:

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE — In an effort to counter the increasing threat posed by enemy drones and other airborne threats, the U.S. Army is making an investment in Directed Energy prototype technology, with the Tactical High Power Operational Responder, or THOR, system,


Senate Bill Addressing Systemic Racism Passes Hearing

NMDP News:

SANTA FE — Senate Bill 230, a measure aimed at reducing and eliminating institutional racism in state departments, received a do-pass Friday in the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee.

SB230 is sponsored by Sen. Linda Lopez (D-Albuquerque), a member of the New Mexico Council on Racial Justice, Sen. Harold Pope Jr. (D-Albuquerque), and Rep. Patricia Roybal Caballero (D-Albuquerque).

The bill, if passed, would mandate that state departments and state funded entities submit reports and plans by the end of every year outlining their actions to implement surveys, assessments,


Santa Fe Indian School To Continue In Distance Learning For Remainder Of Year Due To Unique Health And Safety Issues

SFIS News:

SANTA FE — The Santa Fe Indian School Board of Trustees voted to stay in distance learning for the rest of the semester due to the unique health and safety issues faced by New Mexico Pueblos and other tribes.

The SFIS academic programs for both mid school and high school will continue to offer rigorous and culturally responsive learning opportunities through live, virtual instruction.

SFIS will not participate in sports as long as campus is closed to in-person learning. Athletes (8th-12th) may participate in their home school districts if they make the team. The NMAA has granted an


Bill Lighting Way For Creation Of New Mexico Redistricting Plan Waiting For Moment In Legislative Spotlight 

Kathleen Burke of Fair Districts for New Mexico


Three bills lighting the way for the creation of a redistricting plan in New Mexico are waiting for their moment in the legislative spotlight. 

But as the legislative clock moves closer to deadline — Thursday was the midway point of this year’s 60-day legislative session — supporters and sponsors of some of those bills worry they might not get a hearing in time. 

Kathleen Burke, project director of Fair Districts for New Mexico, an Albuquerque advocacy group pushing for a fair redistricting plan, said she doesn’t want to see Senate