Saturday, July 2, 2022


The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.


SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Landmark 'New Mexico Voting Rights Act' Stalls in Senate


Monday, February 7, 2022   

Amid support and criticism, a marathon public hearing and debate over a bill to bolster voting access ended in the New Mexico Roundhouse Friday without resolution.

The bill would expand online voter registration, including further protections for Native voters, designate election day as a holiday, and create a permanent, voluntary absentee ballot request list.

During the nine-hour hearing that included public comment, Jacob Vigil - research and policy analyst with New Mexico's Voices for Children - urged lawmakers to take bold action.

"New Mexico is already a model for running fair and secure elections," said Vigil. "And this year you have the opportunity to upgrade our state's election practices and protect the freedom to vote to make our state's democracy more inclusive and representative."

After adopting a series of amendments, the chair of the Senate Rules Committee postponed a vote on the bill, saying it needed more time for review. That will need to happen fast, as only 13 days remain in the short 2022 session.

A provision to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote in school and city elections was eliminated by the close of Friday's hearing. But Isabella Baker - field organizer with the family-activist group Forward Together - offered several reasons it deserved consideration.

"Sixteen- and 17-year-olds are held accountable to laws created for adults every day," said Baker. "Their paychecks are taxed, they can drive, they can be tried as an adult in court in some cases, and so much more."

Maria Coronado is a community organizer in Las Cruces who spoke in support of the bill and reminded legislators how difficult the past few years have been for immigrant communities.

"The attack on our rights, and even our existence in this country have been painful and infuriating," said Coronado. "One of the things that has given me hope throughout all of this is using my right to vote."

Critics of the bill argued it would undermine election confidence, with many adamant that those younger than 18 should not be allowed to vote.

Disclosure: New Mexico Voices for Children/KIDS COUNT contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Early Childhood Education, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …


The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …

The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021