SANTA FE ― The bipartisan public safety package that passed the House with overwhelming support passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with bipartisan support today and will move to the Senate Finance Committee for consideration.
The package includes bills sponsored by Representatives Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales). This package is a bipartisan effort to keep New Mexico communities safe by using a framework that addresses crime across the entire criminal justice system.
“We are one step closer to enacting meaningful solutions to New Mexico’s crime problem. This package touches every facet of the criminal justice system, including hiring more officers, stopping the “revolving door” for violent offenders, and addressing root causes of crime through substance abuse and mental health treatment. It has now been thoroughly vetted by multiple committees. I remain optimistic that it will pass before the end of the session on Thursday,” Rep. Nate Gentry said.
“Our communities are faced with growing crime statistics, and this public safety package helps law enforcement focus on violent crime. Our solution to proactively fight crime in our communities is one step closer to the Governor’s desk,” Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas said.
“I am pleased to see this effort continue to move forward. New Mexicans are demanding that legislators do more to make our state a safer place to live. New Mexico ranks first in property crime and second in violent crime. This situation is intolerable. We cannot wait another year and allow countless more New Mexicans become victimized by crime. Enough is enough,” Rep. David Adkins said.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own community, this bill includes an emphasis on proactive and preventative solutions. My constituents are counting on us finding solutions, and I was pleased to be part of the proposal and that our Senators understand our comprehensive approach,” Rep. Elizabeth Thomson said.
“We need to address crime prevention by looking at the entire system, including law enforcement, prosecution and defense, courts and corrections, behavioral health and substance abuse. This is a step in the right direction and it’s good to see the Senate acknowledge that,” said Rep. Daymon Ely.
The comprehensive, bipartisan public safety package specifically includes:
· HB 217, sponsored by Reps. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) and Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would help corrections facilities screen inmates for underlying health issues, connect them with treatment services, and enroll those eligible in Medicaid before they are released – encouraging access to behavioral health support and decreasing recidivism.
· HB 19, sponsored by House Minority Floor Leader Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would keep violent criminals from obtaining firearms by increasing penalties for felony offenders who receive, transport, or possess a firearm.
· HB 215, sponsored by Rep. David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), would provide bonuses to our most experienced officers to help keep them on the force protecting our communities.
· HB 266, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would increase the requirements for removal of an ignition interlock device for DWI offenders before a driver’s license is reinstated.
· HB 271, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), would set realistic penalties for nonviolent crimes, a fiscally responsible way to help our judiciary system better manage caseloads and free up the time for District Attorneys and public defenders to focus on serious crimes.
The omnibus is assigned the number HB 19.