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Lobbyist Influence, The Future of the Forests & Paying Elected Officials

This week on New Mexico in Focus, Gene Grant and the Line Opinion Panel explore the influence of lobbying in the state legislature. Gene asks if special interests have too much influence in the Roundhouse and if two failed disclosure bills would have increased transparency. Then, the Panel discusses the relationship between our state government and the oil and gas industry as the EPA fines two producers for continued violations of the clean air act. Finally, as a citizens’ commission votes on a proposal to increase pay for Albuquerque’s city councilors and mayor. Gene and the Panel debate the merits of increasing salaries for elected officials at various levels of government.  

Christopher Ramírez and Althea Atherton with Together for Brothers talk with Laura Paskus about the City of Albuquerque’s Zero Fares Pilot Program and why transit equity doesn’t just benefit those who need to take advantage of free fares on the city’s buses.   

This spring, the Sandia Mountains have received more precipitation than recent years, but they are still warming and drying over time. The forests are also overly dense, thanks in part to more than a century of fire suppression. As Our Land’s Laura Paskus reports, conditions are prime for what could someday be a catastrophic fire.  

Host: Gene Grant

The Line opinion panel:
Dede Feldman, fmr. NM State Senator 
Merritt Allen, Vox Optima Public Relations 
Andy Lyman, reporter, Santa Fe Reporter

Transit Equity in Albuquerque 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guests: Christopher Ramírez, Executive Director, Together for Brothers  
Althea Atherton, Bus Rider Organizer, Together for Brothers 

The Future of the Forests 
Correspondent: Laura Paskus 
Guests: Shawn Martin, Forest Silviculturist, Cibola National Forest  
Aaron Johnson, Forestry Program Manager, Cibola National Forest