Our 60-day legislative session has just passed the halfway point. Liberty and Justice Coalition (LJC) is preparing for committee hearings on three bills that will directly impact those convicted of sexual related offenses.
The bills on our radar are:
- HB 270: Sponsored by Representative Yvette Herrell (R).
- SB 380: Sponsored by Senator Jacob Candelaria (D).
- SB 151: Sponsored by Senator Mimi Stewart (D).
HB 270 has cleared its first committee already. This is the most significant proposal because it will add five new offenses to New Mexico’s list of registerable sex offenses. The offenses are: (1) patronizing prostitutes when the person believed to be a prostitute is under the age of 18; (2) promoting prostitution; (3) accepting the earnings of a prostitute; (4) voyeurism; and (5) human trafficking. In addition, conspiracy to commit any registerable sex offense would also require registration. The Department of Public Safety has unsuccessfully sought the addition of these offenses for many years; however, stopping this proposal is far more difficult due to the change of control in the House of Representatives.
SB 380 would impose a $140.00 fee on a person at his/her initial registration. It also appears to impose this fee for each time a person registers with the sheriff. SB 380 has not been scheduled for a hearing yet. If this proposal becomes law, they claim that the funds raised would be used to support the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit.
SB 151 would clarify the state’s burden of proof for those individuals it seeks to keep on an indeterminate parole after the initial five years. In addition, the legislation would establish a regular review process for those whose parole has been revoked for a technical violation. This bill was amended in the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SAPC) and has received a “do pass” recommendation and is now in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) awaiting a hearing. We are inclined to support the bill once some technical issues are addressed in SJC.
LJC will have a booth in the Capitol on March 3rd and 4th. We are seeking volunteers to help staff the booth and hand our literature to lawmakers and visitors. If you are interested in helping, please contact Lloyd Swartz at 505 252-0915. You can pick your own hours for working the booth.
LJC believes: "The Constitutional Rights of the few, Define the Rights of the many"