ABQ progressives block retail theft bill

Santa Fe – Albuquerque Representatives Charlotte Little (D), Marian Matthews (D) and three other Democrats voted today to block HB 55, commonsense legislation to fight back against organized retail crime. The vote to block efforts to stem retail theft comes one day following Walmart announcing they are shuttering a store in Albuquerque, due to organized retail theft.

“The people of Albuquerque should be outraged at what is going on in Santa Fe, these progressives simply do not care about crime in our city,” said State Rep. Bill Rehm (R-Albuquerque).  “Republican crime bills are repeatedly voted down by Democrats and then reintroduced under a Democratic sponsor. New Mexicans are tired of politicians playing games when it comes to addressing New Mexico’s ongoing crime problems.”

Albuquerque is still reeling from yet another record breaking 171 murders in 2022, out of control drug trafficking and organized retail theft. Governor Lujan Grisham, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and his police chief, and many in the Roundhouse have been calling for meaningful legislation to stem crime. The vote today by Albuquerque Representatives Little and Matthews is yet another salvo in the efforts to block most Republican led efforts on crime.

“There is tremendous public desire to address the root causes of this crime epidemic,” said House Republican Leader Ryan Lane (R-Aztec). “Retail crime is one of the main ways that career criminals fund their ongoing criminal activities. The people of New Mexico want action that results in real change. Rep Rehm’s retail crime bill was one such effort and unfortunately that effort was defeated today for political reasons.”

HB 55, an effort to fight back against organized retail theft, failed on a partisan vote of 5 – 4 in the House Commerce & Economic Development Committee, with all Democrats blocking the anti-crime measure.


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