Future of public safety bills up on the air | KOB 4
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Future of public safety bills up on the air

Chris Ramirez
Updated: February 14, 2020 06:21 PM
Created: February 14, 2020 05:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- Bills aimed at public safety have not made it to the governor’s desk with less than a week to go before the end of the 2020 legislative session.

House Democrats and Republicans, with the backing of the governor, combined several public safety bills, hoping to get them through the session faster.

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“These bills are about holding criminals accountable and getting them off the streets,” said Rep. Dayan Hochman-Vigil.

The Safer Communities Act would toughen penalties for crimes involving a firearm, enhance community policing and help first responders get treatment for PTSD.

The house overwhelmingly passed the public safety package Monday night and sent it to the Senate.

The package was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, but the chairman, Sen. Joseph Cervantes, has not called for a debate.

If it clears the Senate Judiciary Committee, it will then go to the Senate Finance Committee and then the full Senate for a vote. 

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller backed a different bill that he believes would help with public safety.

He asked for $10 million to help create programs that would reduce teen violence. The request was never put into the budget, meaning it’s likely dead.

However, the Albuquerque Police Department is holding out hope.

“We believe there is enough time in this legislature to make this bill a success,” said Damon Martinez, senior public safety advisor to APD.


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