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Last updated 5:29PM ET
September 24, 2018
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First News: State revenue subject to temperature (Listen)
(KSFR) -
New Mexicans may be using less natural gas because of the warm weather, but less demand is leading to a drop in the price of natural gas. That has some state lawmakers concerned that the $250 million in extra revenue for budget discussions may be too high. State officials won't be out with a new revenue forecast until next week at the earliest. In the meantime, top legislators are urging caution in putting a budget together based on too much expected extra revenue. Experts say a drop of a dollar in natural gas prices can reduce state revenues by $100 million.

Sales of single family homes in Santa Fe appear to be on an uptick. The Realtors Association is reporting that sales of homes in the city rose 22 percent in the most recent three month period and the median price increased from $300,000 to $310,000. Homes sold in the county rose 12 percent but the median price dropped about 13 percent. Victoria Murphy of the Realtors Association says the number of homes for sale is dropping. She says that's good news for home sellers because fewer homes could translate into higher sales prices.

Staff members working for the state legislature have narrowly missed NOT being paid for several months. The issue came up because of a spat between Republicans and Democrats over what should be included in the so-called "feed" bill that authorizes funding for the 30-day session. Republicans tried to push through an amendment about an unrelated item, creating a situation that would have put all the expenses for the session on hold until 90 days after the governor signed the bill. In the end, both sides got together and agreed to a straight-forward bill that would result in employees being paid on time.

The state land office is reporting that this week's oil and gas lease sales brought in some $6.5 million. Revenues generated by the monthly sales provide financial support to New Mexico's public schools, universities, and hospitals. There are more than 9,000 active oil and gas leases along with 188 active mineral leases, comprising almost 3 million acres in our state. The Land Office has been overseen by Commissioner Ray Powell since January 2011. During the past year, almost $100 million has been generated through the oil and gas lease sales for the state trust.

Santa Fe University of Art and Design has announced that Native American filmmaker Chris Eyre is the new chair for the school's film department. Eyre began his film career under the tutelage of Robert Redford and the Sundance Institute Directors Lab and is a recipient of Peabody and Emmy awards. He has a feature film called "Hideaway" which is due for a May release. He leaves his current residence in South Dakota to assume his new post starting February 1st.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny skies today through Saturday with highs near 50 degrees and overnight lows in the mid 20s. There's a slight chance for some mixed precipitation Saturday night.
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