2019 Legislative Update #7

Legislative Update #7, March 3, 2019

The 2019 session is moving into the final two weeks and the pace of activity is horrendous.

We are pleased to report that we had another exhibit in the capitol on Tuesday which is our last exhibit for this session. The attendance was lower than last week, but we estimate we engaged with at least 30 people during the day and nearly all interactions were positive. These two exhibits are made possible by your financial support of LJC.     

We have been busier than ever even though there is no comprehensive SORNA bill for us to fight this year. Our optimism that there will be some criminal justice reform measures passed this session appears to be coming to fruition. We are now pleased to report that HB 342, the omnibus criminal justice reform legislation, is approaching the finish line. A strategic decision was made to split the bill into two parts to prevent it from dying due to anticipated opposition to the second component which deals with good time for those on probation. That component was introduced as a separate bill which is now HB 564. LJC supports the legislation and we are working to move both bills through the process. Bothbills have passed the House of Representatives and are now in the Senate.

Bills LJC Opposes:

 HB 307 Fortunately, this terrible legislation is not moving, and you should know that LJC worked hard to derail this bill. The intent is to significantly increase penalties for sexually related offenses as well as the registration periods for corresponding crimes. It was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC) and has not been rescheduled. For all practical purposes, the proposal is dead for this session, but it will return in a future session because the sponsor will not give up.

HB 104 This bill is dead for this session. The proposal would extend the statute of limitations on certain offenses. It received a “do pass” recommendation from the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee and was heard by the House Judiciary Committee. Fortunately, the Judiciary Committee voted to table the legislation which means it is likely dead for this session. This proposal will return because the law enforcement apparatus will not stop trying to abolish the statute of limitations.    

HB 190 This legislation is probably dead for this session. The intent is to issue permanent no contact orders to restrain convicted sex offenders. This bill was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). HB 190 was removed from the calendar and has not been rescheduled. We can be certain that this legislation will return in a future session because the sponsor will not give up.   

SB 55 sponsored by Senator Jeff Steinborn (D) from Dona Ana County. This bill would increase the statute of limitations for many crimes. We have been saying for some time that that abolition of the statute of limitations is a top priority of victim advocacy organizations. In addition, the trend all over the country is to extend or abolish the statute of limitations so the proposal is not unique to New Mexico. We did reduce the potential reach of the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC) from what was originally proposed. The SJC substituted the bill and put forward a revised bill that only increases the time permitting an accuser to come forward to age 35 for allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred while he/she was a minor. The bill was approved by the full Senate and is now in the House of Representatives. Even though it passed the Senate, eight Republican Senators and Seven Democrats voted against the measure. It is now in the House of Representatives and LJC will continue trying to amend it or kill the proposal altogether.

 Additional Details:

HB 103: THREE STRIKES EQUALS LIFE SENTENCE

This ridiculous legislation sponsored by Representative Bill Rhem has been tabled. It is nearly identical to legislation that he has previously sponsored which has not passed. It provides for additional violent felonies in the Criminal Sentencing Act for the purpose of mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for three violent felony convictions.

HB 190: PERMANENT NO CONTACT ORDERS TO RESTRAIN CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo from Valencia County and is similar to legislation she has carried in previous sessions. The bill requires the sentencing court to determine if a permanent no‑contact order should be issued to protect the victim. Also provides for a hearing, written findings of fact and statement of grounds to be incorporated into the sentencing judgment, a violator’s arrest, misdemeanor conviction and punishment, conditions for rescission, and entry of the order in the NCIC protection order file. As we reported above, this bill is likely dead for this session.  

 HB 307: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MINOR PENALTY

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo as well. It proposes to increase the penalties for criminal sexual penetration perpetrated against a child; increase the penalties for criminal sexual contact of a minor; and amend sections of the sex offender registration and notification act. The SORNA amendments are generally cleanup language but there is a provision that would increase the notification requirement imposed on county sheriffs. Currently sheriffs are required to notify schools and other child-care providers within a one-mile radius. This bill would increase that requirement to a five-mile radius of the registrant’s address. LJC opposes the legislation. As we reported above, this bill is likely dead for this session, but it too is likely to return.  

HB 342: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

This bipartisan legislation is nearing the finish line. The bill is sponsored by Senators Sander Rue, Richard Martinez, Representatives Antonio Maestas and Gail Chasey. The intent for the legislation is to reform of the criminal justice system by providing for assistance to offenders with behavioral health diagnoses; revising procedures related to a person incarcerated in a county jail; revising protections for persons involved with an alcohol-or drug-related overdose; providing procedures for post-conviction petitions; revising requirements for pre-prosecution diversion programs; revising procedures related to probation and parole; revising requirements for presentence reports; revising requirements for crime victims' reparations; enacting the accurate eyewitness identification act; revising duties of the New Mexico sentencing commission; requiring eyewitness identification policies and training.

HB 370 LIMITED EXPUNGEMENT OF ARREST/CRIMINAL RECORDS

This bill was heard February 12th in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). The five-member committee voted to recommend that the bill pass, and it is also received a “do pass” from the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) on February 23rd. We are excited to report that the bill passed the full House on February 26th by a vote of 52-17. The bill is now in the Senate where it must clear two committees and pass the full Senate before the session ends in two weeks. LJC feels that enactment of this legislation is long overdue because arrest records and criminal convictions are a significant barrier to employment and living a productive life. LJC will work very hard with the sponsors to get this legislation to the governor’s desk.

HB 564 PROBATION GOOD TIME

This bipartisan legislation was split from HB 342 and is sponsored by Representatives Antonio Maestas, Gail Chasey, and Senator Sander Rue. The bill provides clarification and guidance for probation and parole; allowing for a person on probation to have the time required for probation to be decreased for good behavior. The proposal would provide good time to be credited to the person’s term of supervision with the goal moving the offender from supervised to unsupervised status. The proposal has passed the full House of Representatives and is now in the Senate. It must clear two committees and the full Senate within two weeks. LJC strongly supports this legislation.   


SB 96: BAN THE BOX

This bill is sponsored by Senator Bill O’Neill (D) from Bernalillo County. This legislation states that “the employer shall not make an inquiry regarding an applicant's conviction on the employment application but may take into consideration an applicant's conviction after review of the applicant's application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant. This bill has received a “do pass” from the Senate Public Affairs (SPAC), the Senate Judiciary Committee and a substitute version was approved by the full Senate. The proposal must now clear two committees and the full House of Representatives within two weeks. It is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday, March 5th by the House Labor, Veterans' And Military Affairs Committee. LJC strongly supports this legislation as it represents a first step in eradicating employment barriers.  

SB 323 DECREASING PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

This bill is sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes (D) from Dona Ana County. It would dramatically reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia. The bill was heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Saturday and received a “do pass” recommendation. Now the proposal is on the Senate Calendar awaiting a vote of the full Senate. We do anticipate it will pass the Senate, but time is running short to get the proposal through the House of Representatives before adjournment. LJC supports this legislation because harsh penalties for simple possession are detrimental to society.

SB 521 INTERNET BLOCKING AND NEW REGISTRATION FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This legislation was just introduced and is sponsored by Senators Richard Martinez and Carlos Cisneros. If enacted, it would require certain felons (sex offenders) to install blocking software while under supervision; require the those convicted of human trafficking to register under New Mexico’s sex offender registration and notification act; impose a $200.00 fee for those convicted of human trafficking; and create the human trafficking and child exploitation prevention fund. LJC opposes this legislation and will work to defeat it.

The full text of all bills is available on the New Mexico Legislative website (bill tracker). Go to www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Number.

 

 

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2016 Legislative Update #6

Legislative Update #6, February 24, 2019

The 2019 session is moving into the final three weeks and there are 658 bills pending in the House and 636 pending in the Senate.

We are pleased to report that we had a great exhibit in the capitol on Thursday and we will be back again on Tuesday for another full day. We estimate we engaged with more than 50 people during the day and most of the interactions were positive. These exhibits are made possible by your financial support of LJC.

Even though there is not a comprehensive SORNA bill us to fight as we had expected, we have been busy on many fronts dealing with other criminal justice issues. We have repeatedly expressed optimism that there will be criminal justice reform measures passed this session. We reported last week that we were becoming concerned that HB 342 (the omnibus criminal justice reform) may have stalled. We are now pleased to report that the legislation has not stalled and is in fact moving. A strategic decision was made to split the bill into two parts to prevent it from dying due to possible opposition to the second component which deals with probation good time. That component was introduced as a separate bill which is now HB 564. LJC supports the legislation and we are working to move both bills through the process. Both bills have received “do pass” recommendations from the House Judiciary Committee and are scheduled for debate (today) Sunday afternoon.

Bills LJC Opposes:

 HB 307 This terrible legislation would significantly increase penalties for sexually related offenses as well as the registration periods for corresponding crimes. It was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC) and has not been rescheduled. For all practical purposes, the proposal is dead for this session, but it will return in a future session because the sponsor will not give up.

HB 104 This bill extends the statute of limitations on certain offenses. It received a “do pass” recommendation from the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee and was heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Friday. Fortunately, the committee voted to table the legislation which means it is likely dead for this session. This proposal will return because the law enforcement apparatus will not stop trying to abolish the statute of limitations.

HB 190 This legislation proposes permanent no contact orders to restrain convicted sex offenders. This bill was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). HB 190 was removed from the calendar and has not been rescheduled. For all practical purposes, the proposal is dead for this session, but it will return in a future session because the sponsor will not give up.

SB 55 sponsored by Senator Jeff Steinborn (D) from Dona Ana County. This bill would increase the statute of limitations for many crimes. We have repeatedly stated that abolition of the statute of limitations is a top priority of victim advocacy organizations and is a nationwide trend. Even though SB 55 received a unanimous “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Public Affairs Committee, we expressed hope that we could reduce the potential reach of the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). That in fact did occur when the bill was considered by the SJC. We are grateful that the SJC substituted the bill and put forward a revised bill that only increases the statute of limitations to 35 for alleged sexual misconduct against minors. The bill is now awaiting a final vote by the Senate. Once it passes the Senate, it will then move on to the House of Representatives where we will continue trying to kill it.

 Additional Details:

HB 103: THREE STRIKES EQUALS LIFE SENTENCE

This ridiculous legislation sponsored by Representative Bill Rhem and is nearly identical to legislation that he has previously sponsored which has not passed. It provides for additional violent felonies in the Criminal Sentencing Act for the purpose of mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for three violent felony convictions. Due to the fact the legislation has not moved yet, we believe this issue is dead for this session.

HB 190: PERMANENT NO CONTACT ORDERS TO RESTRAIN CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo from Valencia County and is similar to legislation she has carried in previous sessions. The bill requires the sentencing court to determine if a permanent no‑contact order should be issued to protect the victim. Also provides for a hearing, written findings of fact and statement of grounds to be incorporated into the sentencing judgment, a violator’s arrest, misdemeanor conviction and punishment, conditions for rescission, and entry of the order in the NCIC protection order file. As we reported above, this bill is likely dead for this session.

 HB 307: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MINOR PENALTY

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo (R) from Valencia County. It proposes to increase the penalties for criminal sexual penetration perpetrated against a child; increase the penalties for criminal sexual contact of a minor; and amend sections of the sex offender registration and notification act. The SORNA amendments are generally cleanup language but there is a provision that would increase the notification requirement imposed on county sheriffs. Currently sheriffs are required to notify schools and other child-care providers within a one-mile radius. This bill would increase that requirement to a five-mile radius of the registrant’s address. LJC opposes the legislation. As we reported above, this bill is likely dead for this session but it too is likely to return.

HB 342: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senators Sander Rue, Richard Martinez, Representatives Antonio Maestas and Gail Chasey. As we stated earlier, this proposal was split into two bills and is scheduled to be debated by the full House today. The intent for the legislation is to reform of the criminal justice system by providing for assistance to offenders with behavioral health diagnoses; revising procedures related to a person incarcerated in a county jail; revising protections for persons involved with an alcohol-or drug-related overdose; providing procedures for post-conviction petitions; revising requirements for pre-prosecution diversion programs; revising procedures related to probation and parole; revising requirements for presentence reports; revising requirements for crime victims' reparations; enacting the accurate eyewitness identification act; revising duties of the New Mexico sentencing commission; requiring eyewitness identification policies and training.

HB 370 LIMITED EXPUNGEMENT OF ARREST/CRIMINAL RECORDS

This bill was heard February 12th in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). The five-member committee voted to recommend that the bill pass, and it is also received a “do pass” from the House Judiciary Committee (HJC) on February 23rd. The committee report from HJC is not available yet, but the vote was 3-1 in CPAC with one member absent. The bill is now before the full House for a final vote. LJC feels that enactment of this legislation is long overdue because arrest records and criminal convictions are a significant barrier to employment and living a productive life. LJC will work very hard with the sponsors to get this legislation to the governor’s desk.

HB 564 PROBATION GOOD TIME

This bipartisan legislation was split from HB 342 and is sponsored by Representatives Antonio Maestas, Gail Chasey, and Senator Sander Rue. The bill provides clarification and guidance for probation and parole; allowing for a person on probation to have the time required for probation to be decreased for good behavior. The proposal would provide good time to be credited to the person’s term of supervision with the goal moving the offender from supervised to unsupervised status. LJC strongly supports this legislation.

SB 96: BAN THE BOX

This bill is sponsored by Senator Bill O’Neill (D) from Bernalillo County. This legislation states that “the employer shall not make an inquiry regarding an applicant's conviction on the employment application but may take into consideration an applicant's conviction after review of the applicant's application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant. This bill has received a “do pass” from the Senate Public Affairs (SPAC), the Senate Judiciary Committee and a substitute version was approved by the full Senate. The final Senate vote was 28-11 with only three (3) Republicans voting in favor which means there is a great deal of work yet to be done in convincing Republicans to support giving offenders a second chance. LJC strongly supports this legislation as it represents a first step in eradicating employment barriers.

SB 323 DECREASING PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

This bill is sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes (D) from Dona Ana County. It would dramatically reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia. LJC supports this legislation because harsh penalties for simple possession are detrimental to society. This bill was heard in the Senate Public Affairs Committee and received a “do pass” recommendation. It is now awaiting a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

 

SB 521 INTERNET BLOCKING AND NEW REGISTRATION FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This legislation was just introduced and is sponsored by Senators Richard Martinez and Carlos Cisneros. If enacted, it would require certain felons (sex offenders) to install blocking software while under supervision; require the those convicted of human trafficking to register under New Mexico’s sex offender registration and notification act; impose a $200.00 fee for those convicted of human trafficking; and create the human trafficking and child exploitation prevention fund. LJC opposes this legislation and will work to defeat it.

The full text of all bills is available on the New Mexico Legislative website (bill tracker). Go to www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Number.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

We will have our second booth in the capitol on February 26th. Some have responded and signed up already, but we can use a few more to accommodate no-shows or to reduce the length of each shift. If you are willing to help, contact Rick at [email protected] or call (505)832-4291. If you are unable to volunteer for this project, we have other volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

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Scam Update!!!

 Scam update: Spreading its tentacles from sea to shining sea

Scam update: Spreading its tentacles from sea to shining sea

Repeating the warning: If you get a call from someone saying he is with law enforcement, that you are out of compliance, or overdue, or anything to do with your registration status and that he can help you take care of it, it is a scam. Hang up and call your registry office or local law enforcement. This has been going on for well over a year. We have just today gotten word that it is operating in Pennsylvania. This is a list of states from where we have had reports. Contact NARSOL if you learn of it being in a state not listed here.

CALIFORNIA, COLORADO, CONNECTICUT, FLORIDA, GEORGIA, IDAHO, MARYLAND, MICHIGAN, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW MEXICO, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, TEXAS, VIRGINIA

Here are a few media stories about it from various states:

https://wwjnewsradio.radio.com/articles/police-scam-targets-registered-sex-offenders

https://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/PoliceNews/iWatch/newtelephonescamtargetssexoffenderregistrants

https://www.kdrv.com/content/news/Sheriff-Recent-Phone-Scam-is-Targeting-Sex-Offenders-484228231.html

https://www.kpvi.com/news/local_news/scams-targeting-registered-sex-offenders/article_9f45c3b2-1104-11e8-9fae-9bce2c028996.html

https://www.centexproud.com/news/local/brazos-county-phone-scam-targets-registered-sex-offenders/1746536814

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2019 Legislative Update #5

Legislative Update #5, February 17, 2019

We have just passed the midpoint of the 2019 session which means that the period for introduction of legislation has closed. We did see the flurry of legislation we had anticipated and there are now 658 bills pending in the House and 636 pending in the Senate. This compares to 531 and 509 respectively just one week ago. This total does not include 76 blank bills that are introduced as placeholders to be used later if necessary.

Although there was no comprehensive SORNA bill introduced, there is now a bill that amends New Mexico’s SORNA which we will provide more details later in this update. As we have stated several times, LJC is well prepared to oppose any SORNA enhancements and that is precisely what we intend to do.

We have expressed optimism that there will be bipartisan cooperation on criminal justice reform this session. Now that we have passed the halfway point, we are becoming concerned that HB 342 (the omnibus criminal justice reform) bill may be stalled. This legislation is sponsored by leading Democrats and has some Republican support as well. Unfortunately, it has not been heard yet by the House Judiciary Committee. Our sources have told us that it is scheduled to be heard this coming Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee. We recently announced that LJC supports the legislation and we are working to move it through the process.

Bills LJC Opposes:

 HB 307 This legislation would significantly increase penalties for sexually related offenses as well as the registration periods for corresponding crimes. This bill was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). The bill was removed from CPAC’s calendar and a referral to the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) was added. This means if the bill should the bill pass CPAC and the House Judiciary Committee (HJC), it will have to be approved by HAFC before it can go to the House floor. This additional referral will make it difficult for the legislation to pass which is good news.

HB 104 This bill extends the statute of limitations on certain offenses. Unfortunately, it received a “do pass” recommendation from the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee and is now before the House Judiciary Committee scheduled to be heard on February 18th. If HB 104 does receive a “do pass” from HJC, it must also be heard by HAFC which will make it very difficult to pass the House.

HB 190 This legislation proposes permanent no contact orders to restrain convicted sex offenders. This bill was scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, February 5th in the House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). HB 190 was removed from the calendar and has not been rescheduled.

SB 55 sponsored by Senator Jeff Steinborn (D) from Dona Ana County. This bill would increase the statute of limitations for many crimes. Abolition of the statute of limitations is a top priority of victim advocacy organizations and prosecutors. Even though SB 55 received a unanimous “do pass” recommendation from the Senate Public Affairs Committee, we expressed hope that we could reduce the reach of the bill in the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). That in fact did occur when the bill was heard on Monday February 11th. The SJC substituted the bill and put forward a bill that increases the statute of limitations to 35 for allegations alleged by minors. Due to the enormous financial ramifications of this legislation, it has now been referred to the Senate Finance Committee. No hearing has been scheduled yet.

 Additional Details:

HB 103: THREE STRIKES EQUALS LIFE SENTENCE

This ridiculous legislation sponsored by Representative Bill Rhem and is nearly identical to legislation that he has previously sponsored which has not passed. It provides for additional violent felonies in the Criminal Sentencing Act for the purpose of mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for three violent felony convictions. An exception provides for parole eligibility for certain inmates age 60 years older. We believe we can defeat this misguided policy and prevent this from getting out of the House.

 

HB 190: PERMANENT NO CONTACT ORDERS TO RESTRAIN CONVICTED SEX OFFENDERS

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo from Valencia County and is similar to legislation she has carried in previous sessions. The bill requires the sentencing court to determine if a permanent no‑contact order should be issued to protect the victim. Also provides for a hearing, written findings of fact and statement of grounds to be incorporated into the sentencing judgment, a violator’s arrest, misdemeanor conviction and punishment, conditions for rescission, and entry of the order in the NCIC protection order file. As we reported above, this bill will be difficult to pass with the third committee referral.

 HB 307: CRIMINAL SEXUAL CONTACT WITH A MINOR PENALTY

This bill is sponsored by Kelly Fajardo (R) from Valencia County. It proposes to increase the penalties for criminal sexual penetration perpetrated against a child; increase the penalties for criminal sexual contact of a minor; and amend sections of the sex offender registration and notification act. The SORNA amendments are generally cleanup language but there is a provision that would increase the notification requirement imposed on county sheriffs. Currently sheriffs are required to notify schools and other child-care providers within a one-mile radius. This bill would increase that requirement to a five-mile radius of the registrant’s address. LJC opposes the legislation.

HB 342: CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senators Sander Rue, Richard Martinez, Representatives Antonio Maestas and Gail Chasey. As we stated earlier, we are becoming concerned that this bill may have stalled. The intent for the legislation is to reform of the criminal justice system by providing for assistance to offenders with behavioral health diagnoses; revising procedures related to a person incarcerated in a county jail; revising protections for persons involved with an alcohol-or drug-related overdose; providing procedures for post-conviction petitions; revising requirements for pre-prosecution diversion programs; revising procedures related to probation and parole; revising requirements for presentence reports; revising requirements for crime victims' reparations; enacting the accurate eyewitness identification act; revising duties of the New Mexico sentencing commission; requiring eyewitness identification policies and training.

HB 370 LIMITED EXPUNGEMENT OF ARREST/CRIMINAL RECORDS

This bill was heard on Tuesday February 12th in the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee (CPAC). The five-member committee voted to recommend that the bill pass, and it is now awaiting a hearing in the House Judiciary Committee. The vote was 3-1 with one member absent. Enactment of this legislation is long overdue because arrest records and criminal convictions are a significant barrier to employment and living a productive life. Although we expect considerable opposition from the business community, the Albuquerque Journal, and some conservative legislators, LJC will work very hard with the sponsors to get this legislation to the governor’s desk.

HB 564 PROBATION GOOD TIME

This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Representatives Antonio Maestas, Gail Chasey, and Senator Sander Rue. The bill provides clarification and guidance for probation and parole; allowing for a person on probation to have the time required for probation to be decreased for good behavior. The proposal would provide good time to be credited to the person’s term of supervision with the goal moving the offender from supervised to unsupervised status.

SB 96: BAN THE BOX

This bill is sponsored by Senator Bill O’Neill (D) from Bernalillo County. This legislation states that “the employer shall not make an inquiry regarding an applicant's conviction on the employment application but may take into consideration an applicant's conviction after review of the applicant's application and upon discussion of employment with the applicant. This bill has received a “do pass” from the Senate Public Affairs (SPAC) and the Senate Judiciary Committee and is now awaiting a vote by the full Senate. LJC strongly supports this legislation as it represents a first step in eradicating employment barriers.

 

SB 323 DECREASING PENALTIES FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

This bill is sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes (D) from Dona Ana County. It would dramatically reduce the penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia. LJC supports this legislation because harsh penalties for simple possession are detrimental to society. This bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Public Affairs Committee on February 19th.

SB 521 INTERNET BLOCKING AND NEW REGISTRATION FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

This legislation was just introduced and is sponsored by Senators Richard Martinez and Carlos Cisneros. If enacted, it would require certain felons (sex offenders) to install blocking software while under supervision; require the those convicted of human trafficking to register under New Mexico’s sex offender registration and notification act; impose a $200.00 fee for those convicted of human trafficking; and create the human trafficking and child exploitation prevention fund. LJC opposes this legislation and will work to defeat it.

The full text of all bills is available on the New Mexico Legislative website (bill tracker). Go to www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/BillFinder/Number.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED

This is our final reminder that LJC plans to have a booth in the capitol on February 21st and again on February 26th. Some have responded and signed up already, but we can use a few more to accommodate any no-shows or to reduce the length of each shift. If you are willing to help, contact Rick at [email protected] or call (505)832-4291. If you are unable to volunteer for this project we have other volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

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