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Last updated 4:20AM ET
September 26, 2018
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First News: NM lawmakers may have more than $280 million in "new" money to work with. (listen)
(KSFR) - When state lawmakers meet in January, they'll have more than $280 million more to fit into the budget than they did in this year's spending plan. The new revenue comes from estimates that state economists believe will materialize next year. But at the same time, they say that about $70 million of the new amount is already committed to current projects. The Albuquerque Journal reports that Gov. Martinez wants to use much of the newly available money to pay for education measures as well as higher state employee health care premiums. She may also ask lawmakers to approve cuts in the state's highest corporate tax rate.

The Bernalillo County Clerk's office has finished counting 125 ballots that were discovered after the final returns from the November elections were in. But the totals weren't enough to change any of the contests. KOB television says Pres. Obama got 52 of the votes while Republican Mitt Romney got 77. Five votes went to former Gov. Gary Johnson. In the race for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Martin Heinrich got 41 votes while 69 went to Heather Wilson. The clerk's office is still investigating why the ballots were not counted in the first tabulations.

The Public Regulation Commission meets in Santa Fe this morning; on the agenda is a proposal by PNM to terminate its Sky Blue program wherein customers pay extra for energy produced from wind farms. Currently, PNM customers enrolled in Sky Blue pay 52 cents for each 100 kilowatt-hour block of renewable energy purchased. PNM wants to replace the program with one allowing customers to choose that a portion of their energy come from wind and solar sources. The utility expects that about 15% of all its energy generation will be from renewable sources by 2015. The PRC hears staff recommendations today before taking a vote at another meeting scheduled for Thursday.

The City of Santa Fe next Monday begins a series of sessions designed to identify new needs in the city's Hazard Mitigation plan. That plan provides guidelines for dealing with issues such as floods or wildfires. Andrew Phelps is the city's emergency management director and says the plan will include the effects of climate change over the coming years.*** The initial meeting of the planning group will be a public session, set for next Monday at the community convention center.

That move to increase penalties for jaywalking in Santa Fe has met with disfavor from the city's Finance Committee, with some councilors saying the measure is too harsh. City councilor Ron Trujillo earlier this year proposed that jaywalking fines increase from $25 to $300. At Monday's meeting, some of his colleagues voiced objections. That will send the measure to review by the Public Works Committee next week.

Weather for Santa Fe - sunny and dry through the remainder of the week with highs ranging from the low-to-mid 50s. Overnight lows from the upper 20s to low 30s. Forecasters say there may be a chance for some precipitation by Sunday night.
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