House Judiciary Committee Passes Comprehensive, Bipartisan Public Safety Package
Bills Would Improve Public Safety for New Mexico Communities
Santa Fe, NM- Today, a bipartisan, comprehensive public safety package passed the House Judiciary Committee. The package includes bills sponsored by Reps. Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), Reps. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), and Daymon Ely (D-Corrales). This package is a bipartisan effort to keep New Mexico communities safe by using a framework that addresses crime across the entire criminal justice system.
“We spent months working with people in every part of the criminal justice system to develop evidence-based solutions for New Mexico’s crime problem. This bill addresses the full spectrum of public safety needs: sentence enhancement for violent offenders, law enforcement staffing, and mental health services. It’s a meaningful and comprehensive approach that will help move the needle in the right direction for New Mexico,” said Rep. Nate Gentry.
“This package of bills is a comprehensive, common-sense approach to increase public safety—from keeping more police on our streets and managing caseloads in the courts to ensuring we reduce recidivism. This package will also tackle the factors that contribute to crime as a whole,” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas.
“Living with crime has become a daily reality for too many New Mexicans. High crime rates affect our ability to build healthy communities and increase opportunities for our children. I am pleased to be part of this bipartisan effort to make our state a safer place to live,” said Rep. David Adkins.
“Every New Mexican deserves to feel safe in their community, and emphasizing proactive solutions is critical to increasing public safety” said Rep. Elizabeth Thomson.
“This is a step in the right direction. We need to address crime prevention by looking at the entire system, and that includes law enforcement, prosecution and defense, courts and corrections, and behavioral health,” said Rep. Daymon Ely.
The comprehensive, bipartisan public safety package specifically includes:
- HB 217, sponsored by Reps. Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) and Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would help corrections facilities screen inmates for underlying health issues, connect them with treatment services, and enroll those eligible in Medicaid before they are released – encouraging access to behavioral health support and decreasing recidivism.
- HB 19, sponsored by House Minority Floor Leader Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), would keep violent criminals from obtaining firearms by increasing penalties for felony offenders who receive, transport, or possess a firearm.
- HB 215, sponsored by Rep. David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), would provide bonuses to our most experienced officers to help keep them on the force protecting our communities.
- HB 266, sponsored by Rep. Elizabeth Thomson (D-Albuquerque), would increase the requirements for removal of an ignition interlock device for DWI offenders before a driver’s license is reinstated.
- HB 271, sponsored by Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), would set realistic penalties for nonviolent crimes, a fiscally responsible way to help our judiciary system better manage caseloads and free up the time for District Attorneys and public defenders to focus on serious crimes.
The bill now heads to the House Floor for consideration.