It's July 1st and a number of new laws go into effect here in New Mexico. Among them is a higher tax rebate for film & TV productions that create six or more episodes here. The rate for those rises to 30% from 25%. Corporate tax cuts take the state's rate from 7.9%--which was among the highest in the southwest -- down to 5.9% over the course of five years. And another new law closes the loophole that previously allowed some out-of-state sex offenders who moved here to avoid registration with authorities.
The Santa Fe Police Department has instituted a new team of six officers on bicycles to patrol the Plaza, the Railyard and other downtown hotspots. Operation Plaza Patrol will operate fulltime, monitoring alleys, using undercover tactics to disrupt crime and investigating public concerns. The officers will be checking busker’s licenses, enforcing the city’s noise ordinance and issuing parking citations. Other officers will be deployed on city busses along Cerrillos Road routes headed to tourist destinations, hoping to blunt criminal mischief.
Santa Fe's Finance Committee will today consider approval of creating a Gun Safety Public Service Announcement campaign that would be featured on city busses and benches. The matter is brought forward by Mayor David Coss and city councilor Patti Bushee along with Police Chief Ray Rael. It's headed toward full city council later this month.
The state Public Education Department has released the 2013 New Mexico Standards Based Assessment scores for each school district across the state. The preliminary data reveals several positive highlights for the Santa Fe School District and its students. Overall, 56% of our schools demonstrated increases in math proficiency and 44% showed increases in reading proficiency. The test was administered to some 8,400 students in grades 3-through-8, as well as high school sophomores and juniors in core subject areas.
19 firefighters in neighboring Arizona have been killed as they tried to suppress a rapidly growing lightning-sparked wildfire northwest of Phoenix. All those killed were part of Prescott, Arizona's city fire department. The crew had tried to protect themselves with emergency heat shields as they were overtaken by flames but to no avail.
Though still completely uncontained, the nearby Jaroso Fire had little growth over the weekend as high humidity levels and rounds of showers helped to curtail further growth. Some 138 personnel are assigned to the blaze which has scorched approximately 11,000 acres in the Pecos Wilderness, northeast of Santa Fe.
Weather for Santa Fe – partly sunny days with chances for afternoon and evening thundershowers are forecast for much of this week. High temperatures near 80 degrees with overnight lows in the upper 50s.