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It’s Deb Haaland’s swearing-in day, day 57 of the 60 day legislative session and St. Patrick’s Day all-in-one. Here are our picks for the biggest stories driving New Mexico news today:

  • Senator Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces) successfully managed to move the mandatory paid sick leave bill back to his committee where it was amended to cover government and private employers (the House version only applied to the non-government workforce). Now back on the Senate floor, sponsors say they aren’t sure if those last minute changes could doom the bill before time runs out Saturday because it now has to go back to the House for a new hearing and vote.
  • Speaking of Cervantes and time running out, legalization supporters are happy to see both the Democratic and Republican bills scheduled for a hearing today. But, but, but… Cervantes also hinted that those bills might not pass his committee until Friday, and with big amendements, forcing a Saturday morning scramble to get both chambers to agree. We told you cannabis would be the last thing legislators do! Read Josh Lee’s recap of all the issues still on the table.

In the national conversation today, 8 Asian-American victims were killed in a string of massage parlor shootings outside of Atlanta. Police say it is too early to tell if the shootings were motivated by race, but hate crimes against Asian-Americans have increased more than 150 percent since the pandemic began and Asian-American small businesses have taken an even larger economic hit than others.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Lots of local businesses are celebrating their partial re-opening today. Check out a few of our favorites in this week’s issue of EatABQ: The Foodie’s Guide to ABQ. We also hear that Tractor Brewing Co. is mixing up a new Peppermint Paddy Cocktail on their Wells Park Patio and for indulgers of the green, Purlife has is celebrating their Irish friends with a St. Pat’s sale. No matter how you celebrate, do it safely. Health orders are still in effect so keep it small, designate a driver and take it home if you can. If not, Bernalillo County is offering Uber codes for free rides to get you home safely.

Grab the newest issue of The Paper. out on newsstands today. It’s a special triple-issue(!):

  • This week’s news, including Deb Haaland’s historic nomination
  • PLUS EatABQ: A foodie’s guide to the Duke City
  • PLUS The Rolling Paper: Special Edition inside the last-minute battles to legalize cannabis before the clock runs out!

Get a digital preview here and help us grow The Paper. by sharing it on Facebook and Twitter.

Find it on more than 150 newsstands across the metro starting today!

Front Page

Will Legalization Stall Out?

By Josh Lee | March 17, 2021

After all this, will legalization die in the senate (again)?!
We look at all the issues still on the table.


Mandatory Sick Leave Bill Gets Last-Minute Change

March 17th, 2021 | The state of New Mexico and local governments also would have to follow the provisions […]

Lawmakers Propose 45 Day Session

March 17th, 2021 | How about 45 days instead of 30? For years, some lawmakers have argued 30-day legislative sessions […]

Early Childhood Education Gets Major Funding Approved

March 17th, 2021 | Advocates behind a years-long effort to draw more money for early childhood programs from a […]

Aid-in-Dying Bill Poised to Become Law in New Mexico

March 16th, 2021 | The New Mexico Senate passed a controversial bill Monday that would allow terminally ill patients […]

City Hall

City Council Watch: Top Cops, Robots and Los Poblanos

By Carolyn Carlson | March 17, 2021

  • Councilor injects social media rumors, drama into debate over new police chief.
  • Los Poblanos is getting new digs
  • Homegrown robots get a big city boost

Good News

Native Women’s Organization Continues to Grow

By Jonathan Sims

There is a movement in the Native women’s community in the state. Native Women Lead […]

This story is a staff report from The Paper.