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Last updated 10:40PM ET
September 19, 2018
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State lawmakers leaving big items until last minute
(KSFR) -
This year's session of the New Mexico legislature has just a little over a week to go and no hot-item bills have been passed so far. One of the governor's priorities has been to put a stop to drivers licenses for immigrants in the U.S. without documentation. But a committee of the House has been unable to draft a compromise. The result is that the governor's preferred version of that measure will go to the full House for floor debate.

State Sen. Peter Wirth's bill to require all out-of-state corporations to pay New Mexico income tax has gotten past a key committee and heads to the senate finance committee for review. The governor says if it passes, she'll veto it because it represents a tax increase.

The state budget still hasn't been decided. Democrats and Republicans in the House finance committee have failed to reach agreement on how to proceed if a budget surplus of some $250 million fails to materialize.

The senate this week is preparing to receive a package of bills that passed the House overwhelmingly. They would reform the Public Regulation Commission by requiring that commissioners have at least some education- or experience-qualifications to serve. It would also remove the insurance division from supervision by the PRC.

Parents of students at Santa Fe public schools will get the chance to ask for transfers to other schools. It's a lottery process that takes place at the end of March. The school district will be accepting requests beginning today through Feb. 17.
Meanwhile, voting takes place tomorrow on a mill levy renewal that will generate almost $13 million over the next six years. That money is used exclusively for technology updates and capital improvements. Polling locations can be found at the school district website.

New Mexico Archbishop Michael Sheehan has joined his colleagues in decrying federal regulations requiring Catholic and other religious employers to provide birth control coverage under health insurance plans. Sheehan says church entities will not comply and may drop health coverage for their workers. Rules to take effect in 2013 require all FDA approved contraceptive services to be available to healthplan participants working for religion-affiliated employers. Here in Santa Fe, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center spokesman Arturo Delgado tells the Albuquerque Journal that the rule is moot as the hospital's insurance plan all ready provides such coverage for its employees. Once the regulation is in place, however, those employees will no longer need to make co-pays for such birth control services.

Santa Feans hoping to vote in the March 6th Municipal Election have until tomorrow, February 7th to register. Absentee voting both by mail and in person began last week; early voting begins next Wednesday, February 15th. Four of eight city council seats are up for grabs and citizens will also be weighing in on multiple bond issues.

Weather for Santa Fe - partly sunny today with highs in the low 40s and a 30% chance for snowshowers. That drops to 20% tonight with lows in the mid teens. Little to no accumulations expected. Partly sunny tomorrow with highs in the upper 30s.
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