February 14,2020 –Gene Grant and The Line opinion panel discuss the legislation that failed to make it to the finish line during the most recent month-long lawmaking session. One of the bills that Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was backing, the legalization ofrecreational cannabis, didn’t even make it past its second committee in the Senate. Was there just not enough time in a short session for such a bill? The Line panelists also discuss other bills that didn’t make it, including one to exempt tax on social security payments and reforming the Public Regulation Commission.
Line Panelists: Merritt Allen, Vox Optima Martha Burk, political psychologist and women’s issues expert Dede Feldman, former state senator Diane Snyder, former state senator
January 3, 2020 – Gene Grant and NMiF’s all-journalist Line panel keep reeling off discussions about 2019’s top stories. The year’s third most talked-about story is the passage of the Energy Transition Act. Designed to save PNM stockholders from bearing the cost of shutting down the coal-fired San Juan Generating Station, the law passes the costs on to ratepayers. But it also forces PNM into a 100 percent renewable energy generation in the next 25 years. Meanwhile, the Public Regulation Commission is still at odds with the Legislature over the power play, and the Supreme Court will soon weigh in on the question of whether the PRC can still regulate the power plant’s shutdown. The year’s second biggest story could easily have been the first. After a judge ordered New Mexico to come up with a sufficient way to fund education for lower income students, Native, English language learners and others, lawmakers scrambled to inject hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s K-12 school budget. Despite increasing teacher pay and changing how schools consider educating diverse populations, plaintiffs in the Yazzie-Martinez lawsuit say New Mexico needs to do far more.
Line Panelists: Gwyneth Doland, adjunct professor, UNM Communication & Journalism Dept.
Andy Lyman, reporter, New Mexico Political Report
Jessica Onsurez, news director, Carlsbad Current Argus
Steve Terrell, retired reporter, Santa Fe New Mexican