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 http://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|