In Budget Crisis, House Republicans Vote to Increase Deficit With Crime Bill

In Budget Crisis, House Republicans Vote to Increase Deficit With Crime Bill

Bill reinstating capital punishment moves forward on party line vote in House Appropriations and Finance Committee

Monday, October 3, 2016

Santa Fe – Today marks day 4 of this year’s special legislative session and House Democrats are still waiting for a real budget negotiation. Instead, the House Appropriations and Finance Committee (HAFC) lead by House Republicans, passed House Bill 7, on a 8-6 party line vote. The continued focus by House Republicans on controversial crime bills is politics at its worst. House Republicans are wasting taxpayer dollars while sending a clear message that election politics are more important than people and economic security. 

“Our resources should be focused on preventing the next Omaree Varela, and preventing the next Victoria Martens,” stated Stephanie Garcia Richard (D-Los Alamos). “That starts with dealing with the state budget and what we are doing to protect our kids, fully fund CYFD and our public schools. Instead, we are being diverted into a conversation about something that won’t stop the next case of child abuse.”

“This bill is all about politics. If this bill were to pass we will need money,” stated Christine Trujillo (D-Bernalillo). “Which department are we going to take money from in order to prosecute and defend these cases? House Republicans are making huge cuts across the board yet are eager to pass this at enormous cost. This is a contradiction.”

According to the Fiscal Impact Report, HB 7 would cost New Mexicans nearly $9.5 million over the limited projection of 3 years alone. The state of New Mexico is currently in a projected $700 million budget shortfall, leading to cuts in critical services for kids, social workers, students and hardworking New Mexicans statewide. House Bill 7 will now be heard on the House floor later this week.