Thursday was the deadline for introduction of legislation. There are a number of proposals pending that will require significant effort by RSOL. Following is a summary of the bills pending that RSOL has identified as “high priority, ” especially for anyone required to register as a sex offender or a family member.
Introduced by Representative Antonio Maestas (D). The legislation is intended to offer an alternative to HB 446 (Herrell’s bill) which is fairer and does not flagrantly violate the constitution. There are several significant differences between HB 570 and HB 446. The most significant components are:
(1) all registration functions would be transferred to the New Mexico Department of Public Safety,
(2) it would not increase registration periods for anyone already registered, thus, the people under old SORNA would remain there; and
(3) new offenses added to the list would be prospectively applied.
HB 570 would:
· Add six new offenses to the registry;
· Reduce the amount of time from ten days to five days for a registrant to notify the DPS of changes, however, the DPS is also required to create a secure system where a registrant can submit required changes electronically
· Require that the DPS to send registrants reminders of approaching deadlines;
· Creates language that clarifies that after registrants initially register, he/she will verify registration information by returning a form sent by the DPS;
· Tier New Mexico’s current lifetime in accordance with the AWA criteria which will result in a reduction of registration for many current offenders;
· Requires that the DPS create a secure system where a registrant can submit required changes electronically; and
· Restrict law enforcement from imposing requirements not contained in SORNA.
Awaiting first hearing in House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
Introduced by Representative Cynthia Brown (R). This legislation would create a “Drug Traffickers” registry. The language of the proposal is almost identical to the sex offender registry other than:
(1) the period of registration is only five years; and
(2) registrants will not be listed on the Internet; and
(3) registrants will only report to their friendly sheriff once per year. Obviously RSOL will strongly oppose this legislation.
Assigned to House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee. Not
scheduled for first hearing yet.
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 has far wider ramifications.
This legislation would:
· Retroactively add six new offenses to New Mexico’s list;
· Reduce the amount of time for reporting changes from 10 days to 3 days;
· Change the frequency of reporting and retroactively impose increased registration periods for those under the old law; and
· Retroactively impose the duty to register on anyone ever convicted of a sex offense, regardless of the date of conviction, if the person is still alive. This is a high priority for RSOL because this is very dangerous piece of legislation for the following reasons:
(1) the governor has indicated that it is a high priority for her to see enacted; and
(2) the obvious constitutional issues with the retroactivity of the proposal.
Awaiting first hearing in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
Sponsored by Representative Nate Gentry (R). The is a high priority for RSOL because the legislation would prohibit any person required to register pursuant to New Mexico’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) from accessing social media, instant messaging, or chat rooms.
Was heard in House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (CPAC) this past Tuesday. In response to criticism by RSOL and concerns expressed by Rep. Gail Chasey, Rep. Gentry agreed to narrow the scope of the legislation. RSOL is pleased that the “Substitute” bill is narrower than the original version but still has constitutional concerns. We are working with the sponsor in an attempt to find language that will narrow this proposal even further. The next step is that the bill will be schedule for a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
Sponsored by Representative Alonzo Baldonado (R). The legislation would extinguish parental rights for those convicted of any form of Criminal Sexual Penetration (CSP) in cases where a child was conceived, regardless of whether the crime was perpetrated by force. In other words, any person that engaged in consensual sex with an individual below the age of consent would have no parental rights if this becomes law.
The bill received a “do pass” in House Consumer and Public Affairs and is now awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee.
Sponsored by Representative Tom Taylor (R). The legislation adds the offense of Electronic Solicitation to the list of offenses that will require the imposition of an indeterminate five to twenty year sentence, and requires that the offender pay for his/her own Risk Assessment. The bill has not been scheduled for its first hearing yet.
Is assigned to the House Health Government and Indian Affairs Committee (HHGIC) awaiting its first hearing scheduled for Saturday February 16th.
Sponsored by Senator Phil Griego (D). This bill is a major revamp (84 pages) of the children’s code that contains a dangerous provision buried deep inside. There is a list of aggravating circumstances that could be used to remove a child due to abuse or neglect. One of the “aggravating circumstances” that would permit a finding of abuse or neglect would be if a parent is registered or ever had to register as a sex offender. This provision could be used as a reason to take your kids away! This is obviously the most serious civil rights threat to date.
The bill is in the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPC) and was re-scheduled for its first hearing on Tuesday February 18th.
From: Lloyd, RSOLNM President
SB252 was moved to another day because they put it off and it got late. Early on we were told by a lawmaker that he could assure us of being tabled, so we cut everyone out early. Thanks for everyone who came out to fight this terrible bill. One last round of thanks to everyone who made the booth a fantastic success as well!
That should be all the activity for this week, as our focus of attention switches to HB446. Representative Moe Maestas dropped HB570 yesterday just before the deadline, also a SORNA revision we oppose, but done in a prospective manner, with down tiering so we can shrink our life time list. Stay tuned for important hearings!
The Child Photo Project:
Despite the desperate situation we face, we are struggling to bring out families and children to committee meetings, which threatens significant failure in any committee. Ken Knolls came up with a fantastic concept to help overcome this serious deficiency. We are requesting photos of EVERYONE’S child, along with an age, and a first name. We will print 8″x10″ picture and stick to some foam board and add a stick. The concept is to ask everyone in committee to hold them up and let lawmakers know those are the children of registered families they are destroying…THAT will make an impression! For those worry wart parents this is a way to get involved without driving to Santa Fe and having your kids sit in committee. And NO ONE will know who the kids belong to, or the last name, nor remember a face they saw for a moment in committee. I am asking EVERY parent to email photos of your kids to Esther.(Yetico@cybermesa.com) If you don’t, we will be calling you! Again, age and first name are all we need with the photos. Thanks in advance for all you parents help on this fantastic project.
Retroactivity Crisis Mailing Project:
With HB446 taking nearly everyone to life on the registry and adding 100% retroactivity, we are planning a mass mailing to old 10 and 20yr registered families, primarily for fundraising and to increase involvement and membership, as well as prepare for retroactivity law suits. Stay tuned as Larry plans for a time and place for volunteers to come help stuff envelopes.