The Columbo Commission
"Oh, there is just this one more thing." The Public Regulation Commission backtracked on its earlier decision that PNM made imprudent investments in coal-fired electricity generation and said it would revisit the issue ($) in a later review. However, instead of a 9 percent rate hike over the next two years to allow the utility to recover costs and add profits, the new federal corporate income tax rates mean that rate hike will be closer to 1.5 percent.
Taking the LEAD
Santa Fe's Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion model for dealing with addiction-related crimes seems to be working. The program, which stresses treatment and social services as opposed to jail time, has resulted in a drop in new offenses by people who've been in the program. Police are still the gatekeepers for the program, which some have criticized. The city is in the midst of a talking tour to explain LEAD to residents.
Descartes gets cash
Santa Fe city councilors voted unanimously last night to pair $100,000 of city money with $700,000 of Local Economic Development Act money from the state to help Descartes Labs retrofit and improve its new headquarters in downtown Santa Fe. The software company already has offices in San Francisco and New York City, but says it's been able to recruit talent to Santa Fe. The company promises to create at least 50 new jobs in the next five years.
Casino opera drama
One of the more entertaining upcoming shows at the Santa Fe Opera will be watching a neighboring casino be built on the old Tesuque Flea Market grounds. The tribe chose the spot for a new gaming facility to replace Camel Rock Casino to the north. The Pueblo broke ground yesterday.
Police post raises privacy questions
Like a bad scene out of the bad movie The Circle, a Facebook post by Santa Fe police asking citizens to track the whereabouts of a property crime suspect has some people wondering if it's too far ($). Adrian Bleamer was legally out on bond and had no warrants for his arrest when the police department made the post. The ACLU says asking citizens to spy on each other is problematic, though some neighborhood-watch types say it's simply being smart.
The critics were out in droves yesterday after the governor announced she wanted a law to give police officers immunity if they acted according to their training. A prominent attorney often called upon to defend cops says it's lower than the existing bar because it gets officers off the hook even if their training was bad. The special prosecutor from the James Boyd case says it's a political ploy. The governor's bill hasn't been pre-filed by a lawmaker.
More students take advanced classes
It's not clear what it says about the state's public education system as a whole, but it's undeniable that the number of high school students taking advanced placement classes has doubled since 2010. That's saved their families about $2 million in college tuition costs, says Gov. Martinez. But it might have raised the ceiling and not the floor, as a recent report by the nonpartisan Legislative Finance Committee says students who take AP classes tend to be more motivated from the get-go.
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