Senate Overwhelmingly Supports House Bipartisan Public Safety Package
Santa Fe, NM – The bipartisan public safety package that passed the House and Senate with overwhelming support now awaits the governor’s signature.
The package includes bills sponsored by Representatives Nate Gentry (R-Albuquerque), Antonio “Moe” Maestas (D-Albuquerque), David E. Adkins (R-Albuquerque), 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.
“After countless hours of research and discussions with people involved in every area of the justice system, I am pleased that we can offer these meaningful reforms to the people of New Mexico. New Mexicans wanted us to fix three specific problems: stopping the criminal justice system’s “revolving door,” ensuring we have enough officers to keep us safe, and increasing access to drug and mental health treatment services for offenders. This package addresses each of these challenges,” said Rep. Nate Gentry.
“Getting this bill to the Governor’s desk is a huge bipartisan accomplishment. This package of bills is a comprehensive, common-sense approach to increase public safety—from setting realistic penalties for nonviolent crimes, to reducing the chances of repeat offenses by punishing felons with guns, and expanding access to behavioral health treatment, this package shifts the focus to prevention,” said Rep. Antonio “Moe” Maestas.
“Keeping our most experienced officers on the job is crucial for preventing crime in our communities and catching offenders. This public safety package addresses key elements in New Mexico’s criminal justice system. It is an important first step in making our state a safer place to live,” said Rep. David Adkins.
“Crime hinders our efforts to grow our communities, create jobs, and engage in worthwhile economic development programs, and we need effective solutions to keep our communities safe. New Mexicans are counting on us to address these critical issues, and this is a step in the right direction,” said Rep. Elizabeth Thomson.
“We need to focus on measures that would prevent violent crime, such as behavioral health resources and substance abuse treatment. Looking at the entire system, including law enforcement, prosecution and defense, courts and corrections, and behavioral health, will make our communities safer,” 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.