House Bill Establishing New Mexico Civil Rights Commission Passes In Bipartisan Vote Of 53-17 At Special Session Friday

Speaker of the House Brian Egolf

STATE News:

Creates A Legal Remedy For New Mexicans Whose Rights Have Been Violated

SANTA FE – House Bill 5, a bill making important strides in the fight for justice for all New Mexicans, passed the House Friday during the 2020 Special Session.

Sponsored by Speaker of the House Brian Egolf (D-Santa Fe), House Bill 5 establishes a New Mexico Civil Rights Commission for the purpose of evaluating and making recommendations to the Governor and legislature on policies that would bring recompense and redress to New Mexicans who have had their civil rights violated. 

Recent events including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Antonio Valenzuela in Las Cruces, have sparked protests and outrage nationwide.

With the commission in place, New Mexico can begin the important work of identifying reforms and constructing important guidelines to address injustices perpetrated by officials against those very civilians they are sworn to protect and serve. 

“We have an opportunity today to truly listen to the demands of New Mexicans who’ve been repeatedly victimized by those placed into positions of authority” Egolf said. “By creating a New Mexico Civil Rights Commission, we can begin making real steps towards a future when violations of civil rights will result in swift and certain consequences.”

The 10-member commission would be appointed by a panel consisting of the Governor, Speaker of the House, Senate Minority Leader, and Senate Pro Tempore. The Commission’s duties would include making recommendations regarding violations of state constitutional rights and examining existing laws such as qualified immunity among others. 

House Bill 5 passed the House floor in a bipartisan vote of 53-17 and heads to the Senate. 

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