Thou shall not pass
Unfortunately for enthusiasts, patients and advocates alike, some lawmakers believe that it's unlikely that recreational cannabis will become a law this session. Sen. Jerry Ortiz y Pino, D-Albuquerque, a co-sponsor of the bill, says he thinks it has a "one in three" chance; time is simply running out in the 30-day session, and the bill has more committees to pass before it gets anywhere near the governor's desk. He said the bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, may fare better during next year's 60-day legislative session.
The water saga continues in and around Clovis (surely you remember the dairy farmer who had to destroy his whole herd due to toxic groundwater). Trace amounts of toxic PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) have been found in 10 percent of the water utility's 82 wells, though the water folks at EPCOR insist the water is perfectly safe to drink. The presence of the toxic chemicals in the city's water supply raises questions about how the plume might be moving underground.
Get your learn on
A growing number of educators who are also members of the New Mexico Legislature could mean more advocacy for kids' needs in our state. "I think that's what any teacher adds to the Legislature—a voice that can represent what students face both inside and outside the classroom," says Rep. G Andrés Romero, D-Albuquerque, profiled here along with a number of other teacher-legislators in a piece that looks at the state of education advocacy in the current session.
Haaland for farmers
On Thursday of last week, US Rep. Deb Haaland introduced a Farmers Bill of Rights, a resolution seeking to protect small family farms, "because large corporate farms are sucking up all the resources and blocking them from prosperity." The resolution addresses issues such as transparency in labeling of farm products, fair and open markets, land control, property rights, and protection of tribal lands and sovereignty. You can read the resolution here (it isn't terribly long, so you might even want to).
In episode 15 of "Your New Mexico Government," a podcast devoted to the 54th Legislature, SFR's Leah Cantor checks in on some of the energy bills making their way through the Roundhouse during the current 30-day session. Host Khalil Ekulona gets an update from Cantor about efforts to reform the Public Regulation Commission (HB11) and the Community Solar Act (HB9 or SB143). "Your New Mexico Government" is a collaboration between SFR, New Mexico PBS and KUNM radio.
Have you had your morning coffee? Some food news from the last week may be of help. Agapao Coffee and Tea ($ TNM) is taking over the drive-up kiosk on St. Michael's Drive that used to be run by Hava Java. You've likely had Agapao coffee at restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, but now's your chance to get it from its very own little brick-and-mortar (emphasis on the "little"). They planned to open Friday, but that's always pending city inspections, so maybe drive by first to make sure they're up and running.
A second try at reform
A few bills meant to reform parts of New Mexico's parole system are limping through the Legislature, but with the halfway point of the session come and gone, it's unclear whether they'll cross the finish line. Jeff Proctor reports that versions of these bills made it all the way to the governor's desk a year ago, but met with a veto pen when Attorney General Hector Balderas and all 14 of New Mexico's district attorneys sent her a letter that outlined fatal problems as they saw them. This year, legislators and prosecutors have ironed out some differences, but it's resulted in watered-down legislation.
Pack a parka
Thanks for reading! The Word loves the community contests from the Santa Fe Reporter. Maybe think about something other than that storm a'comin' with an entry to the Spring Poetry Search? Entry fees help support the journalism mission. Read the winners in the newspaper in March.