ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The Latest on proposed crime bills in the New Mexico legislature (all times local):
A package of public safety bills has won approval in the New Mexico Senate, where it was both praised as a model for crafting bi-partisan criminal justice legislation moving forward and criticized for not going far enough in tackling the state’s crime problem.
Rising crime rates in New Mexico, and especially in Albuquerque, have put public safety at the center of legislative debates this year. The wide-ranging omnibus legislation approved in the Senate on Wednesday has gotten the most attention among proposed crime bills.
The House must still approve the Senate’s amendments before it is sent to the governor’s desk. The Legislature adjourns Thursday.
This omnibus legislation addresses multiple levels of the state’s criminal justice system, starting with an attempt to bolster police ranks by providing retention bonuses to veteran police officers.
A bi-partisan crime package in the New Mexico Legislature is scheduled to receive a Senate floor vote Wednesday, a day before the session is scheduled to end.
The omnibus package aims to put more police on the streets, and treat more inmates with a substance abuse or a mental illness diagnosis as a way to reduce recidivism.
It also would increase prison time for violent felons convicted of possessing a firearm, and reduce penalties for very low-level infractions, like littering.
Rising crime rates in New Mexico, and especially in Albuquerque, have put public safety at the center of daily legislative debates this year.
But, in the end, it’s been mostly a handful of bi-partisan bills, like the omnibus crime bill, that seem to have gained the most traction among lawmakers.