New Mexico lawmakers OK crime bill, $500M in tax rebates

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico legislators have approved about $500 million in tax rebates and a broad suite of crime-fighting initiatives in the closing hours of their 30-day legislative session.

The initiatives won legislative approval Thursday as the state grapples with the economic whiplash of the coronavirus pandemic and concerns about a surge in violent crime in Albuquerque and elsewhere in the state.

Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham called for a big response to crime and financial relief as she campaigns for reelection in November.

An initiative to expand voting access was thwarted by the Republicans in the legislative minority.

The Democratic-led Legislature also approved a record-setting $1 billion annual budget increase.