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Editorial

Editorial content. Content posted here may or may not reflect the opinions of the Beat. They reflect the opinions of the author.

By Supreme Court Justice Shannon Bacon

Here in New Mexico, as across the nation, the economic effects of COVID-19 are making a significant impact on the people of our state, and the results could be particularly damaging for vulnerable New Mexicans. As the economic downturn continues to haunt us, people are suffering.

History tells us that when people feel the effects of a downturn, it leads to legal problems, such as evictions, foreclosures, debt collections, loss of benefits, and a rise in domestic violence. With the COVID-19 pandemic creating high unemployment and a slow comeback for businesses, it is clear to us at the Supreme Court and me personally as a Supreme Court Justice, that a wave of new civil legal cases is on the horizon—cases where the parties may not fully understand their legal rights or the justice system.

The Special Session of our New Mexico Legislature is scheduled to begin June 18 to address the suffering of our people for the next fiscal year. While the phrase budget crisis is on the lips of many in the law-making body of our government, wisdom speaks just the opposite – not a budget crisis, but a revenue crisis.

At stake is a trinity of essential services: Education, Health Care, Public Safety. Slashing these services will only leave deep wounds that cannot be bandaged. The Legislature is not gathered to act with a cruel closed-fist, but to be compassionate with an open hand.

Behind the debate of a budget is an obligation and a responsibility. Both are to be found within the awesome words of our State Constitution, specifically:

We Must Stand with Our Black Siblings: Breaking the Silence from the National Latinx Psychological Association

We are living through a time where violence against Black Lives continues to be an unacceptable norm. Since February 23, 2020, at least three Black people were killed senselessly – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Marquez Arbery. In the midst of COVID-imposed social isolation we saw a white woman threaten Christian Cooper, an avid birder and a Black man, with calling the police for no other reason than he asked her to put her dog on a leash. Black bodies, hearts, and minds are being terrorized daily, often by police officers. This is in addition to the Black community facing the highest rates of mortality in the COVID19/Coronavirus pandemic, a clear example of how anti-Blackness permeates all systems, including healthcare. Latinx psychologists and allies have a responsibility to fight racial terrorism and rally around our Black and AfroLatinx siblings to affirm their wellbeing, safety, and dignity.

WASHINGTON – Following is a statement by Sandra L. Shullman, PhD, president of the American Psychological Association, regarding the mental health consequences of recent high-profile violent events targeting African Americans:

"George Floyd, dead after a police officer knelt on his neck. Ahmaud Arbery, fatally shot while on a jog. Breonna Taylor, shot to death by police raiding her home. Eric Garner, Philando Castile, Trayvon Martin – the list is far too long and ever growing.

"The deaths of innocent black people targeted specifically because of their race – often by police officers – are both deeply shocking and shockingly routine.

By Paul Gessing

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in New Mexico, the Four Corners region of New Mexico faced serious economic challenges. The declining price of natural gas which had been the basis of the area's economy for decades was the most significant issue.

The price which exceeded $15 per million cubic feet (MCF) back in 2008 embarked on a rapid decline with the advent of the "fracking" revolution. The price is now below $2.00 per MCF and shows no sign of rising in the foreseeable future. That's a decline of over 80%.

Author: State Representative Larry Scott, Hobbs, who is a member of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee

Some time ago I wrote an op-ed article complaining that I and my Republican colleagues were not being consulted or even informed of the planning underway to resolve the state's imminent budget crisis. Nothing has changed in the intervening period. Despite the fact that we are mere weeks away from the rumored call for a special session, there have been no proposals advanced by the administration. There is a growing concern that the lack of transparent action dealing with these budget issues may have motives more aligned with flattening the political fallout curve than flattening the virus impact curve. What's going on in Santa Fe?

By Senator Pete Campos

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought heartache and pain to all. In New Mexico alone, cases of COVID-19 have exceeded 6,000, with nearly 300 fatalities and close to 2,000 cases officially designated as recovered. The state is short nearly $2 billion in next fiscal year's budget. Thousands of New Mexicans are unemployed or working without necessary personal protective equipment. Unemployment, isolation, extreme work environments, illness and death have created a sense of uncertainty and surreality. But New Mexicans are resilient. We have the mental strength and resourcefulness to both weather this storm and learn from it.

Power The Future Statement on Michelle Lujan Grisham’s Endorsement of Joe Biden

Albuquerque – The Joe Biden for President campaign announced the endorsement of New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday. The following is a statement from Power The Future’s Western States Director, Larry Behrens about the endorsement:

Live from Silver City

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