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Last updated 9:39AM ET
August 16, 2018
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First News: The state's film rebate program again under discussion (listen)
(KSFR) - New Mexico's film rebate program is coming up again in the backrooms of the Roundhouse. A Republican lawmaker from Roswell is talking about subtracting a percentage point a year from the 25 percent film rebate program so that it disappears over time. Some Democrats are saying they think it should be expanded, at least by removing the upper limit on the total dollar amount in the state budget. Last year's film-rebate debate resulted in the state keeping a 25 percent rebate on expenses incurred in New Mexico by filmmakers, but it put a cap of $50 million on the total budgeted amount that could be spent.

Both the state House and Senate are in recess until Monday. This year's 30-day session is required to put most focus on the state's budget. Still, Governor Martinez can ask lawmakers to consider non-budgetary issues and today's New Mexican reports that she has done just that by means of executive messages. Among some 80 such requests are calls to require parental notification for minor girls seeking to terminate a pregnancy and re-instatement of the death penalty which was abolished back in 2009. The number of messages the governor has passed along thus far has the democratic senate majority leading saying it expands the current session's agenda to that of a 60-day session.

The state Supreme Court has decided to hold a hearing in early February on a challenge to the plan for redrawing the political boundaries of the state House of Representatives. Democrats are challenging the decision made by a retired judge after the governor vetoed a legislative compromise reached in October. In the Santa Fe area, one effect of the plan being challenged is that residents of Eldorado would be represented by a state representative from the southern part of the county.

A federal judge presiding at the case of a man charged with conspiracy to transport illegal aliens used the opportunity to opine on the New Mexico state law permitting foreign nationals to obtain a state drivers license. Today's Albuquerque Journal says US District Judge James A. Parker characterized the law as unreasonable as he sentenced a New Mexico man to six-months house arrest for assisting Polish citizens in getting licenses with falsified documents. The report notes that the defense attorney in the case called the law "stupid." New Mexico, Washington and Utah are the only states that grant licenses to foreign nationals.

Santa Fe's Living Wage will rise to $10.29 per hour effective March 1. This represents an increase of some 4 per cent from the previous $9.85 level. A 1.4% adjustment due in 2010 was omitted by error but is included in the new figure. The increase applies to all businesses in Santa Fe, regardless of size - the small employer exemption having disappeared in the compromise that ushered in the annual cost of living adjustment requirement in 2008.

Weather for Santa Fe -- mostly sunny today with highs in the mid 50s and overnight lows near 30. Clouds on the increase tomorrow with temperatures once again in the mid 50s. Saturday night brings a 20% chance for rainshowers, possibly mixing with snow at times with lows in the low 30s. Clearing skies Sunday with highs in the mid 40s.
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