This week on New Mexico in Focus, Gene Grant and the Line Opinion Panel assess the work of the legislature during the final week of session.
The panel begins with a conversation about the record-setting $9.6 billion budget plan and some of the transparency criticisms surrounding the bill.
Then, the Line reacts to new legal threats from an anti-abortion activist who promises a lawsuit if a reproductive rights bill is signed into law.
The panelists also discuss a new report revealing the state lost track of nearly two dozen people who had been sentenced to life without parole as children.
New Mexico in Focus Political Correspondent Gwyneth Doland returns to the Roundhouse for three conversations about transparency in state government.
First, she speaks with Albuquerque Journal Capitol Bureau Chief Dan Boyd about the level of transparency he’s seen during this year’s 60-day session.
Then, she catches up with Rob Black, the president and CEO of the New Mexico Chamber of Commerce to understand what information businesses like to see during budget drafting.
Finally, Gwyneth asks State Sen. George Muñoz, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, if the process could be more transparent for the public.
The state Senate has included a five-cent increase to state alcohol taxes in an omnibus tax bill moving through the Capitol. Gene Grant speaks with Independent Journalist Ted Alcorn who has been covering this issue in collaboration with New Mexico in Depth. Alcorn gives more context on the role the liquor lobby plays each year a tax increase is under consideration and lays out the gravity of New Mexico’s problems with alcohol.
New Mexico in Focus airs on NMPBS 5.1 (KNME HD) Friday, March 17 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 19 at 7 a.m., and streaming on the PBS video app.
Inside the Roundhouse: Transparency in Record-Setting $9.6B Budget
Dan Boyd, Albuquerque Journal Capitol Bureau Chief
Rob Black, president & CEO, New Mexico Chamber of Commerce
State Sen. George Muñoz, (D) NM District 4 - Gallup, chair of the Senate Finance Committee
Alcohol Tax Increase Limited by Robust Liquor Lobby
Ted Alcorn, independent journalist
The Line Opinion Panel
Dan Foley, former NM State Representative
Sophie Martin, attorney
Rebecca Latham, CEO, Girl Scouts of New Mexico
New Mexico in Focus is the New Mexico PBS prime-time news magazine show covering the events, issues, and people that are shaping life in New Mexico and the Southwest. NMiF takes a multi-layered look at social, political, economic health, education, and art issues, and explores them in-depth with a critical eye to give them context beyond the "news of the moment."
New Mexico in Focus Senior Producer for Public Affairs is Lou DiVizio. "Our Land" Senior Producer is Laura Paskus. Co-producer of New Mexico in Focus is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for New Mexico in Focus is provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation and Viewers Like You.
Funding for the Your New Mexico Government Project comes from the Thornburg Foundation and New Mexico Local News Fund.
Funding for Our Land: New Mexico’s Environmental Past, Present & Future, is provided in part by the Neeper Natural History Programming Fund for KNME-TV.