Senator Gay Kernan (R-Hobbs)

Air Dates: February 29-March 2, 2020

      This week’s guest on REPORT FROM SANTA FE is Senator Gay Kernan, a Republican from Hobbs, who has represented Senate District 42 (Chaves, Eddy, and Lea Counties) since 2002. She is a member of the powerful Senate Finance Committee and her work there gives her a broad and deep perspective on New Mexico's economic issues. A lifelong educator, Kernan also offers expertise in education and schools. She has also introduced many important bills dealing with health care in New Mexico.

In this interview, Kernan looks back at the recently concluded 30-Day Legislative Session and highlights some of the important accomplishments of the lawmakers. While acknowledging the crucial contributions that the oil and gas industries give to New Mexico's economy, the Senator also calls for greater diversification of our economy to avoid the possible downturns often seen in the cyclic nature of energy economies.

Other hot topics include reducing or repealing the state's taxation of social security benefits, the effects of the oil and gas boom in southeastern New Mexico, and a change on the lodgers' tax for long-term rentals for workers in the oil and gas industries.

Kernan gives an update on one of her important health care bills introduced in the 2019 session, the Prior Authorization Bill, which will streamline the process to get a physician's recommendation for specific tests and services for patients approved by insurance providers. She discusses other health bills passed this session such as the importation of prescription drugs from Canada andcapping the monthly out-of-pocket cost for insulin and other diabetic supplies.

Affirming her support for career technical education, the Senator evaluates the other increased funding for all levels of education.

Senator Kernan's interview will air: at 6 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, on KENW, Ch. 3 (Portales), for the entire East Side of New Mexico. Dish and DirectTV usually run it statewide at the same time on Ch. 3. New Mexico PBS (Albuquerque/Santa Fe) will air it at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, on Ch. 9.1. It will be heard on FM Radio at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, March 2 on KANW 89.1 FM, streaming and over-the-air. After the program airs, it can be seen archived at