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- LEGISLATURE-NEW MEXICO
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Proposals to increase state spending and slash taxes have moved closer to reality with crucial floor votes in the New Mexico House and Senate, as lawmakers set priorities for an unprecedented deluge of state government income. The state Senate voted 37-3 on Monday to endorse a $8.48 billion general fund spending plan for the fiscal year starting on July 1 — a 14% increase over current-year spending. Senate additions to the spending plan worth $150 million still require House approval or negotiation if disagreements persist. The House endorsed a variety of tax cuts, credits and rebates.
- ALBUQUERQUE STABBINGS
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Albuquerque police have arrested a man suspected of stabbing 11 people, apparently at random, as he rode a bicycle around the city. Authorities identified him Monday as Tobias Gutierrez, who has a criminal history. He was booked on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Investigators went to several crime scenes Sunday, including one near the University of New Mexico. Police say the suspect rode a bike and was armed with a large knife. Two victims were critically injured and others were treated for injuries at hospitals and released. Police spokesman Gilbert Gallegos says the stabbings appear to have been random. Booking documents say Gutierrez is homeless.
- LEGISLATURE-LAWMAKER ARREST
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state lawmaker is apologizing after police say she was arrested and charged with aggravated drunken driving. Police say Democratic state Rep. Georgene Louis was stopped for speeding late Sunday night and was booked after a sobriety test. As a member of the state House, Louis was participating in the frenetic final days of a 30-day annual legislative session. A committee chaired by Louis canceled a hearing scheduled for Monday morning, just hours after she was booked at the local jail. In a statement from her lawyer Monday afternoon, she says "I know I let so many people down. I am accepting responsibility for my mistake."
- BC-NM-RABID FOX-CATRON COUNTY
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Department of Health officials say a fox from Catron County near Reserve has tested positive for rabies. They say it's the first positive fox rabies case in New Mexico so far this year. The fox was submitted to the state public health laboratory in Albuquerque for testing after it bit a person last Friday. Authorities say the unidentified victim is receiving treatment. They say rabies is a deadly viral disease that can be prevented, but not cured. As New Mexico's largest state agency, the Department of Health offers public health services in all 33 counties and collaborates with 23 Native American tribes, Pueblos and nations.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has announced a series of reforms after reviewing the deaths of 16 inmates in correctional facilities it oversees. The agency did not publicly release the details of its review, making it difficult to gauge what prompted the reforms that it says will protect the rights, dignity and safety of tribal members taken into custody. The reforms include policy changes to quicken the response to in-custody deaths and regular updates to the the bureau's Office of Justice Services. Other reforms focus on training and working with other federal agencies to define the roles of investigators.
- OPIOID CRISIS-HARM REDUCTION
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's Legislature has passed a bill to legalize test strips that can detect the presence of the potent opiate fentanyl and potentially help avoid deadly overdoses. A 32-3 vote Monday in the Senate sent the bill for final approval to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who supports the initiative. The Democrat-sponsored bill from legislators in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Los Alamos would lift restrictions on public access to devices that can test for drug impurities. The bill also gives state health health officials new authority to intervene and prevent the spread of diseases through intravenous drug use.
- WESTERN MEGADROUGHT RECORD
The megadrought bedeviling the American West got even drier last year and is becoming the deepest dry spell in more than 1,200 years. Monday's study says the megadrought is now the worst-case scenario officials and scientists worried about in the 1900s. The drought deepened so much in 2021 that it is 5% worse than the old record in the late 1500s. Scientists compare this megadrought to what would happen in a hypothetical world without human-caused climate change. And they calculate that 42% of this drought is due to global warming from the burning of fossil fuels.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. Ben Ray Luján, who's recovering from a stroke, says he plans to be back at work in the Senate in "just a few short weeks" so he can vote on President Joe Biden's forthcoming nominee for the Supreme Court. In a video released Sunday by his office, the 49-year-old New Mexico senator said he's at the University of New Mexico Hospital after surgery to relieve pressure on his brain and soon will gt to an inpatient rehabilitation facility for a few more weeks. He said he's "doing well" and "strong" and looks forward to being back on the Senate floor after making a "full recovery."