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Special Session Ends, Push for Early Childhood Wellness, COVID & More Racial Reckoning

This week on New Mexico in Focus, correspondent Russell Contreras talks with Elizabeth Groginsky, the first secretary of New Mexico’s newly minted Early Childhood Education and Care Department, which will launch next week. Groginsky talks about her plans for creating a cohesive and aligned pre-natal-to-five early childhood system in New Mexico.   

Protests against racism and debates over monuments have captivated Santa Fe, where vandals defaced a Civil War obelisk referring to Native Americans as “savage” and the city removed a statue of Don Diego de Vargas from Cathedral Park. Gwyneth Doland talks with Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber about his approach to the conflicts.   

Correspondent Laura Paskus continues her conversations with journalists about their coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic as she checks in with Andrew Oxford, formerly with the Santa Fe New Mexican and now reporting for The Arizona Republic.  Unlike New Mexico, Arizona took a less strict approach to dealing with the pandemic and has seen the number of cases rise. Oxford talks about the Arizona state government’s approach to the pandemic, the state’s economy and President Trump’s visit this week.   

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel analyze the outcomes of the special legislative session that spanned five days – including a weekend – and debate whether lawmakers accomplished all they set out to do. The Line also takes on the ever-present COVID pandemic with updates on how it’s affecting New Mexico.