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Last updated 6:50AM ET
September 25, 2018
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AG: State, not county, must pay costs (Listen)
Rep. Brian Egolf
(KSFR) -

The attorney general's office says the state, not the county, is obliged to pay for the furnishings in the new Santa Fe County Courthouse. The opinion comes at the request of Rep. Brian Egolf who said his reading of state law was different from that of Gov. Martinez. She had earlier claimed that the state should not have to pay the million-dollar cost of the furnishings in the courthouse. But the attorney general's office agrees with Egolf that the law is clear and the state has the obligation.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman says he's opposed to commercial development on land belonging to the Santa Fe Indian School. Earlier this week, Congressman Ben Ray Lujan introduced legislation that would lift most if not all of the restrictions on how the school's property is used. Bingaman says the pueblos running the school agreed when the land was put in trust it would be used for health care, culture and education, not commercial development.

Hearings resume today on New Mexico's so-called Pit Rule for oil and gas developers. A state agency started the hearings in May to determine whether to keep the rule that requires drillers to deposit sludge from wells in pits lined with plastic to prevent seepage into the ground. When she took office, Gov. Martinez said she would try to overturn the rule, saying it was bad for business.

PNM is asking the Public Regulation Commission to add a new charge to customer bills. It would be to help the company pay for the renewable energy it is required to offer. If commissioners agree, monthly bills could rise by about two percent.

An effort is underway in Albuquerque to raise the city's minimum wage. The Albuquerque Journal reports that supporters are circulating petitions to get the issue on the November ballot. Albuquerque's minimum wage is now $7.50 an hour, 25 cents more than the federal requirement. The new proposal is to raise it to $8.50 an hour, starting next year.

Several state lawmakers are calling for New Mexico's new grading system for public schools be put on hold until they get answers to questions about it. Under the proposal, every school in the state would get a grade of A through F. But discussion at the legislative education committee has centered on possible flaws in the grading formula. Some committee members say there in inconsistencies in an early round of grading and the state education department has not been able to explain it.

Weather: Sunny and clear today with highs in the 90s. Cooling down somewhat tomorrow as clouds and a possible shower move into the area.
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