Gov. Susana Martinez
ALBUQUERQUE—Gov. Susana Martinez signed into law Saturday legislation that protects the parental rights of deployed service members.
SB 130, the Service Member Child Custody Act, ensures that child custody arrangements cannot be modified while a parent is deployed for military service. The increased deployment of service members in recent years has raised difficult child custody issues that profoundly affect both children’s welfare and service members’ ability to serve their country efficiently.
“With this new law, our deployed service members won’t have to worry about a custody battle thousands of miles away at home while they are busy fighting the enemy in a war zone,” Martinez said.
This legislation was sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque and Rep. Nathan Cote, D-Organ. Preceding the signing ceremony, Martinez with New Mexico National Guard leaders joined the 150th Fighter Wing for the unit’s re-designation ceremony as it became the 150th Special Operations Wing. The governor of the State of New Mexico serves as the commander in chief of the New Mexico National Guard.
“I am truly excited for this new mission designation for the New Mexico Air National Guard,” she said. “The men and women of New Mexico’s National Guard carry on a proud legacy of service to our nation and to our community. We turn to them in times of disaster and uncertainty, and they are always ready to serve at a moment’s notice. This new mission fits them well and underscores their contributions to our national defense and the safety of our communities.”
The Governor’s administration has initiated several other programs to help veterans more easily transition to the civilian workforce, such as Operation Soundstage, which trains veterans for entry-level positions in the television and film industry, and a pilot program to train veterans as wild land firefighters. Governor Martinez also signed legislation to help expedite professional licenses for active duty military, veterans and their spouses.