Comedic Duo “The Pajama Men,” Artesia Immigration Detention Facility, State Budget Revenue Forecast

This week on NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS, Gene Grant talks with Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez, creators of the comedic duo The Pajama Men. The two began their careers at an improvisation class at La Cueva High School, and went on to hone their skills at the Tricklock Company’s Reptilian Lounge, before finding worldwide success at various theater and comedy festivals. They talk about their process for creating new shows, and the important role Albuquerque continues to play for them in developing new material.

The Line opinion panel looks at ongoing controversy over the immigration detention facility located in the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia. The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union and others have filed suit in Federal District Court in Washington, D.C., alleging that the government has committed “egregious due process violations” by creating a system at the center that has rushed deportations and has discouraged immigrants from seeking asylum.

The Line also looks at a recent poll that found millions of marketing dollars left large gaps in people’s knowledge about health insurance exchanges. Some 61 percent of respondents had no idea what exchanges were. And only 11 percent of uninsured adults who are eligible to shop on the exchange did so. The Milwaukee firm that landed the contract last year to promote enrollment was awarded a new $6 million contract in July.

The group discusses the revenue forecast for the state budget. A new report indicates there will be $285 million available next fiscal year for spending increases or to offset tax cuts. That will most likely shape much of the debate in the next legislative session. Most of that increase comes from oil production. However, tax collections in New Mexico have still not fully rebounded from the Great Recession, according to a study by Pew Charitable Trusts.

Shenoah Allen, The Pajama Men
Mark Chavez, The Pajama Men

Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group
Sophie Martin, Attorney

Russell Contreras, Associated Press
Inez Russell Gomez, Santa Fe New Mexican

Gene Grant

The Producer of NEW MEXICO IN FOCUS is Megan Kamerick. Associate Producer is Kathy Wimmer. Funding for this program was provided in part by the McCune Foundation.

Episode 808 for air August 29, 2014