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The Governor’s Signing Day Decisions, Public Safety Priorities with the Bernalillo County DA & Improving the Health and Safety of Indigenous Mothers and Infants

This week on New Mexico in Focus, Gene Grant and The Line Opinion Panel react to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s decisions on last week’s bill-signing deadline. The governor signed more than 200 bills the Legislature sent to her desk, but not without some significant alterations. Among the bills she didn’t sign was a measure to create a new civil rights division within the Attorney General’s Office. The division would have, among other mandates, served as a check on the state’s troubled Children Youth and Families Department. Gene and the panel discuss Lujan Grisham’s pocket veto and respond to an investigation from Searchlight New Mexico and ProPublica exposing the state’s failures in caring for foster children in need of mental health care.  

A new report spotlights some of the federal government’s shortcomings when it comes to Indigenous health care — specifically for mothers and newborns. Maternal mortality among American Indians and Alaska natives ranges from 2 to 4-and-a-half times the rate for non-Hispanic white women. New Mexico in Focus correspondent Antonia Gonzales spoke with the author of a report detailing the disparity and asks what changes could help mitigate the disparity.  

New Mexico in Focus correspondent Russell Contreras catches up with Bernalillo County’s new district attorney, Sam Bregman. The governor appointed Bregman, a longtime criminal defense and civil rights attorney and Democratic Party leader, in January. Bregman explains why he took the job and what his priorities will be as he tries to prosecute and deter crime in Albuquerque.  

For the first time in conference history, the NCAA’s Mountain West saw one of its teams make it to the Final Four. The San Diego State Aztecs are only the second Mountain West team since 2016 to make it past the first round of the tournament. Although the UNM basketball team would have loved to switch places with its rival, the Lobos could still end up benefiting. Senior Producer Lou DiVizio spoke with Albuquerque Journal sportswriter Geoff Grammer about how the Aztecs’ success could bolster UNM hoops and the conference as a whole. 

The Line Opinion Panel: 
Michael Bird, former president of the American Public Health Association 
Tom Garrity, founder & president, The Garrity Group Public Relations 
Giovanna Rossi, president, Collective Action Strategies, LLC 

Host: Gene Grant

Improving the Health and Safety of Indigenous Mothers and Infants 
Correspondent: Antonia Gonzales 
Guests: Dr. Edward P. Ehlinger, MD, former chair, HHS Advisory Committee on Infant and Maternal Mortality 
Janelle Palacios (Salish and Kootenai), Nurse, Midwife, Co-Chair of the ACIMM Health Equity Workgroup 

Bernalillo County District Attorney Explains Public Safety Priorities 
Correspondent: Russell Contreras 
Guest: Sam Bregman, District Attorney, Bernalillo County 

Will UNM Benefit from Mountain West Rival’s NCAA Tournament Success? 
Correspondent: Lou DiVizio 
Guest: Geoff Grammer – sportswriter, Albuquerque Journal