2016 Legislative Update #1

Legislative Update #1

  Our 30-day legislative session kicked off January 19th, so we are now nearing the end of the first week. Liberty and Justice Coalition (LJC) is anticipating an intense battle on several pending horrible bills. It is clear that the conservative-controlled House of Representatives has decided this is the year to increase penalties and decrease the rights of those accused of crimes. We are tracking more than 20 legislative proposals now and anticipate that there will be more before the period for introduction of legislation closes. You can view the entire list of bills we are tracking on our website https://libjusco.net/. The full text of the bills is available on the New Mexico Legislative website (bill tracker). http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/billfinder/number.aspx

The bills that have the highest priority for LJC are:

  • HB 30: Sponsored by Representative Fajarado (R).
  • HB 35: Sponsored by Representative Bill Rhem (R).
  • HB 36: Sponsored by Bill Rhem (R).
  • HB 37: Sponsored by Bill Rhem (R).
  • HB 46: Sponsored by Bill Rhem (R).
  • HB 56: Sponsored by Paul Pacheco (R).
  • HB 65: Sponsored by Sarah Maestas-Barnes (R).

HB 30 would amend current law to make it unlawful to transmit images of any person’s intimate parts to a minor. This proposal is too broad because as written it would potentially criminalize transmission of your own child’s picture in the bathtub.

HB 35 would eliminate judicial discretion to defer or suspend imposition of habitual enhancements for non-violent felonies. We oppose for the simple reason that removing judicial discretion seldom leads to a good outcome.

HB 36 would weaken the statute of limitations for all second degree felonies.

HB 37 would add more than a dozen offenses to New Mexico’s existing three-strikes law. This approach has proven to be very costly in other states and results in people being sentenced to life for non-violent felonies.

HB 46 would increase the maximum penalties for second and third degree felonies resulting in death.

HB 56 would dramatically expand New Mexico’s existing three-strikes law. As noted with

HB 37, this approach has proven to be very costly in other states and results in people sentenced to life for non-violent felonies.

HB 65 would define a “unit of possession” for child porn to be each individual image. This approach would subject people to absurdly long sentences that are totally disproportionate to the crime.

Bills being Watched

Bill Number Subject/Title   Sponsor(s) LJC’s Position Status
HB 29 Teen Curfew Rehm (R) & Trujillo (D) Oppose HRPAC 1-25-16
HB 30 Communication/Images Fajarodo (R) Oppose HSCAC 1-26-16
HB 35 Habitual Offender Sentencing Rehm (R) Oppose Rules Committee
HB 36 Statute of Limitations Rehm (R) Oppose Rules Committee
HB37 Three Strikes Law Rehm (R) Oppose Rules Committee
HB 42 Juvenile Delinquency Rehm (R) Oppose HSCAC 1-26-16
HB 44 DWI for Certain Drugs Rehm (R) Oppose Rules Committee
HB 46 Sentencing for Felons Montoya (R) Oppose Rules Committee
HB 56 Three Strikes Law Pacheco (R) Oppose HJC 1-26-16
HB 60 Sentencing Changes Pacheco (R) Oppose HRPAC 1-25-16
HB 65 Child Porn Units of Possession S. Maestas-Barnes (R) Oppose House Floor
HB 68 Increase Child Abuse Penalties James (R) Oppose House Floor
HB 69 Child Abuse Resulting in Death (age of child) James (R) Oppose House Floor
HB 72 Allow Juvenile Disposition as Evidence Gentry (R) & James (R) Oppose HRPAC
HB 81 Increase DWI Penalties Pacheco (R) Oppose HSCAC
HB 82 Habitual Sentencing & DWI Dines (R) Oppose HSCAC 1-28-16
HB 83 Increase DWI Penalties S. Maestas-Barnes (R) & Montoya (R) Oppose HSCAC 1-28-16
HB 86 Warrantless Arrests DV Fajarado (R) Oppose Rules
HB 95 Add Police Officers to Hate Crimes Gentry (R) & Pacheco (R) Oppose HSCAC
HB 100 Firearm Sentencing Enhancements Rhem (R) Neutral Rules Committee
SB 45 Create New Crime of DWI with minor in car Torraco (R) Oppose Senate Committees Committee
SJR 1 Denial of Bail Constitutional Amendment Wirth (D) & Antonio Maestas (D) Neutral Senate Rules Committee
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