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Last updated 9:22AM ET
September 19, 2018
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First News: Legislative session half over and still no budget deal. (listen)
(KSFR) - State lawmakers are at the halfway point in their 30-day regular session and still no agreement on a budget for next year. Much of the uncertainty is over revenue projections that are clouded by how much money will be available from oil and gas revenues. Some legislators are not confident in an extra $250 million that's been projected. Members of the House Finance Committee have not been able to agree on what to do if that projection declines.

Senate Democrats have introduced a plan to boost revenues from other sectors. Among the proposals is one from Sen. Peter Wirth that would close a loophole in state law that allows some out-of-state corporations to avoid paying tax on the income they make in New Mexico. Wirth figures the loophole results in the state losing hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Lawmakers in the House have approved a measure that would ask for the U.S Congress to create legislation aimed at regaining control over political contributions from corporations and special interest groups. The memorial is in response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United. That decision declared that corporations are people for the purpose of free speech. State Rep. Brian Egolf said he's not convinced they are people. ***

As of today, February 1st, new rate increases are in effect for customers of New Mexico Gas Company. This after the Public Regulation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to grant a $21.5 million rate hike for the utility. The PRC worked with the state Attorney General's office and several consumer interest groups to reduce the company's original proposed increase by $14 million. The hike, the first in five years, comes in the form of an additional $3 tacked on to the fixed service fee.

Santa Fe County Board of Commissioners has endorsed a plan for a review of how county jail officials to work with the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also known as ICE. The federal agency has said the jail observes only minimal standards of cooperation, making it difficult to access suspected illegal immigrants. ICE can request a detainer be placed on suspects in custody, holding them for an additional 48 hours beyond their scheduled release so agents can fully assess their immigration status. There have been recent charges that the jail has been in minimal compliance, releasing suspects before agents get to them. County commissioners will look into the matter but attached no timeline for action.

Weather for Santa Fe - mostly sunny today with a high near 48 degrees. Clouds move in tonight, ushering in a 20% chance for mixed rain and snowshowers Thursday with highs in the mid 40s. Any precipitation will change over to all snow tomorrow night with lows in the mid 20s. Friday again sees a slight chance for mixed precipitation with highs around 40 under partly sunny skies.
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