Legislative Update #9, March 17, 2019
The 2019 session concluded at noon Saturday March 16th and we are providing a short report with more details to follow in the coming days. The pace of activity during the final week got very hectic and your LJC team was in the capitol working until late Friday. We are pleased to report that our optimism regarding criminal justice reform proved true. Several good bills did pass and most of the really misguided bills were defeated.
HB 342: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORMS
The omnibus criminal justice reform legislation passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.
Final House Vote: 61-0
Final Senate Vote: 39-0
HB 564: PROBATION/PAROLE REFORMS
This bill provides for good time for those on probation and parole and had bipartisan support. A more comprehensive analysis will be provided.
Final House Vote: 51-16
Final Senate Vote: 26-6
HB 370: LIMITED EXPUNGEMENT OF ARREST/CRIMINAL RECORDS
We are excited to report that the bill passed and is on the governor’s desk. Unfortunately, it did not have the broad bipartisan support we would have hoped to see. A significant number of Republicans opposed the bill in both chambers. Because there was opposition, it is our hope that this governor will not veto the bill which means we need your help now. Call Governor Lujan Grisham’s office at 505 476-2200 and encourage her to sign the legislation. We cannot suffer the same fate as we did with similar bills which we vetoed by Governor Richardson and Governor Martinez due to opposition from the business community.
Final House Vote: 52-17
Final Senate Vote: 28-13
SB 55: STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS
Partial Victory! We have the most information on this bill because it was LJC’s top legislative priority. The trend throughout the country is abolish or significantly extend he statute of limitations so we knew it was a matter of time before we could no longer stop this train, but we did an amazing job with our allies in improving a bad bill. The final compromise will increase the statute of limitations to age 30 for only the crime of criminal sexual penetration. The original proposal was to have no time limit at all.
Final House Vote: 65-0
Final Senate Vote: 24-15
SB 96: BAN THE BOX
This bill is a first step in ending discrimination by banning the box on all employment applications. Prospective employers may still inquire about criminal history later during the hiring process if they are interested in the individual. Based on previous comments from the governor’s office, we believe she is inclined to sign this legislation. Call Governor Lujan Grisham’s office at 505 476-2200 and encourage her to sign the legislation.
Final House Vote: 45-15
Final Senate Vote: 28-11
SB 323: PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA
This bill is on the governor’s desk. It will dramatically reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia.
Final House Vote: 44-20
Final Senate Vote: 30-8
HB 307 The intent of the bill is to significantly increase penalties for sexually related offenses as well as the registration periods for corresponding crimes. The proposal is dead for this session, but it will return in a future session which means we will have to fight it again.
HB 104 The proposal would extend the statute of limitations on certain offenses. This proposal will return because the law enforcement apparatus will not stop trying to abolish the statute of limitations.
The full text of all bills is available on the New Mexico Legislative website (bill tracker). Go to www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Number.