The New Mexico Legislature will adjourn at noon on Saturday. At this point, none of the bills we are tracking have moved to the finish line.
LJC Opposes HB 56: Our number one priority is defeating HB 56 which is the SORNA and Human Trafficking proposal. Much of the proposal centers on hype about Jeffrey Epstein and the fact that even though he owned property in New Mexico, he was not listed on our sexual offense registry. The bill contains a provision that would require registrants who simply own property located in New Mexico to register. The proposal passed the House and is currently in the Senate awaiting a hearing in the Judiciary Committee. The Senate has taken no action and the end of the legislative session is in sight. We have been focusing our efforts on unmasking the problems with the bill. Even if the time runs out, they will continue to bring this legislation back year after year.
LJC supports HB 74: HB 74 would restore felons voting rights upon release from incarceration and it would also allow felons on parole/probation to vote. In addition, it would provide an alternative process of restoring a felon’s right to hold office upon receiving a “certificate of restoration” from the governor. Unfortunately, HB 74 was hijacked with an unfriendly amendment on the House floor. The amendment would require felons who must register under SORNA prove that they are SORNA-compliant before they can register to vote. We are working to remove the amendment for those required to register pursuant to SORNA. LJC is disappointed by the amendment but we are cognizant that this is a unique opportunity to get a law on the books that re-enfranchises felons. Representative Gail Chasey, the bill’s sponsor was very disappointed with the unfriendly amendment and it appears that her enthusiasm to pass the bill has waned.
LJC supports HB 201: This proposal provides for the early termination of individuals on probation who are: (1) deemed a minimum/medium risk; (2) have met all of the obligations of their probation; and (3) completed one half of their supervision. The bill passed the House with near unanimous support (64-1). Like HB 74, this is a unique opportunity to pass legislation that may not be politically possible again for many years. The proposal has now passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is on the Senate Calendar awaiting a vote by the full body. We anticipate approval by the Senate prior to adjournment which will send this legislation to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham for her signature.