Legislative Session 2013 Ends

Good Evening Members,

   I know reports were a little thin the last two weeks of the legislative battle, but the long, hard slog is finally over for another year. Thanks to everyone that came out when we asked. Thankfully we were able to minimize that through very hard behind the scenes work. A comprehensive update is below. At the next meeting and as we learn more about how HB570 substitute will affect our community we will report back to you. Stay tuned.

   We are also working on securing a meeting room for our after session meeting and legislative wrap up. Sure to be a big meeting. We will let you know as soon as we have that set.

Lloyd

Larrys' Final Legislative Update

 The 2013 session concluded at noon on Saturday March 16th. We are pleased to report that no really bad legislation was passed.

 Of all the bills RSOL was tracking, only HB 570 passed, however, it was not the same as the bill was when it was originally introduced.

 HB 570 Will:

  • Reduce the amount of time from ten calendar days to five business days for a registrant to notify the DPS of changes;
  • Require that the DPS create a secure system where a registrant can submit all required changes electronically;
  • Require that the DPS to send registrants reminders of approaching deadlines; and
  • Create language that clarifies that after registrants first register all future updates of registration information will achieved by simply a returning (in-person) to the county sheriff a “verification form” sent by the DPS.

 RSOL’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT AND CROWN JEWEL OF THE SESSION WAS THAT HB 446 WAS TABLED.

 This legislation was introduced by Representative Yvette Herrell (R). The legislation is nearly identical  to HB 179, a proposal that she sponsored last year, except that the legislation had far wider ramifications for everyone.

This legislation would have:

  • Retroactively add six new offenses to New Mexico’s list;
  • Reduced the amount of time for reporting changes from 10 days to 3 days;
  • Changed the frequency of reporting and retroactively increased registration periods for those under the old law; and
  • Retroactively imposed the duty to register on anyone ever convicted of a sex offense, regardless of the date of conviction, if the person was still alive.

HB 446 was a high priority for RSOL because it was a very dangerous piece of legislation for the following reasons: (1) the governor had indicated that it was a high priority for her to see enacted; and (2) the obvious constitutional issues with the retro-activity component of the proposal.

HB 48 the internet prohibition bill that would have banned all sex offenders from social networking was killed.

HB 38, the termination of parental rights was merged with HB 508, a similar bill, and both bills died.

HB 270 died. The bill was sponsored by Representative Tom Taylor (R) would have added the offense of Electronic Solicitation to the list of offenses that require the imposition of an indeterminate five to twenty year sentence, and requires that the offender pay for his/her own Risk Assessment.

ANOTHER MAJOR VICTORY FOR RSOL, SB 252 WAS TABLED.

 This was a major revamp (84 pages) of the children’s code that contained a dangerous provision buried deep inside. The legislation included a list of “aggravating circumstances” that could have been used to justify the removal of a child due to abuse or neglect. One of those “aggravating circumstance” was if a parent is registered or ever had to register as a sex offender. This provision could have been used as a reason to take your kids away!

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