2018 Session Update #1
January 18, 2018
The 2018 session of the New Mexico Legislature got underway on Tuesday, so this is your first update for the session. Keep in mind that this is a 30-day session is limited to budget matters and items specifically requested by the governor. This means any legislation not accompanied by an executive message is not germane and will not be considered.
The primary theme for this session is expected to be legislation addressing New Mexico’s rising crime rate. The governor has made it clear that she will continue pushing for harsher penalties which means we can anticipate a number of proposals to lengthen prison sentences. The Democratic leadership has signaled that it is receptive to selectively increasing some penalties, however, they are also seeking more treatment options as well as alternatives to prison.
Due to the perception that New Mexico is such a dangerous place, we can expect that there will be some bipartisan cooperation on anti-crime legislation this year, however, LJC will work with our partners to kill or amend any imprudent bills. As of this writing, no SORNA bill has been introduced even though all indications before the session pointed to the DPS bringing back their AWA-compliant bill. The deadline for introduction of legislation is January 31st and the session concludes at noon on February 15th. If there is a SORNA bill filed before the deadline for introduction of legislation, LJC is prepared to deal with a comprehensive strategy.
We have not had time to make a complete list of bills we will track or to analyze any of the legislation listed below so stay tuned for our next update. For now, 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 LJC is already tracking are:
- HB 18: Is a three strikes bill sponsored by Representative Nate Gentry (R).
- HB 19: Is a bill proposing to increase the penalty for a felon in possession of a firearm sponsored by Representative Nate Gentry (R).
- HB 20: Is a bill seeking to reduce recidivism co-sponsored by Senator Daniel Ivey-Soto (D) and Representative Nate Gentry (R).
- HB 28: Is a bill proposing to enhance sentences for “violent felonies” sponsored by Representative Bill Rhem (R).
- HB 29: Is a bill proposing to enhance penalties for use of firearms in non-capital felonies co-sponsored by Representatives Bill Rhem (R) and Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D).
- HB 33: Is a bill proposing to extend time limits for initiation of prosecution co-sponsored by Representatives Bill Rhem (R) and Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D).