AG Raúl Torrez lays out priorities for upcoming legislative session

AG Raúl Torrez lays out prioritizes for upcoming legislative session

We are about one month away from the next legislative session in New Mexico, and there is a lot to get done in half the time.

SANTA FE, N.M. – We are about one month away from the next legislative session in New Mexico, and there is a lot to get done in half the time.

Last year, during the 60-day session, multiple gun violence and public safety-related bills never made it off the floor. But this year, our state’s Attorney General Raúl Torrez sent a wish list to the governor and Roundhouse leaders.

Earlier this year, Torrez hosted multiple law enforcement summits asking police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys what they want to see done during this next legislative session. The consensus was the need to focus on public safety and treatment. 

“What was interesting about it is how, how focused they were on some of the upstream issues in the prevention side of the equation. And I think that’s something that’s often misunderstood about the perspective of police and law enforcement,” Torrez said. 

In a letter to the governor’s office, Torrez summarized what he heard on the road. The folks he talked to want better justice intervention for youth with guns, more consequences for gun crimes in general, better recruiting and retention for law enforcement, and to expand behavioral health and addiction treatments. 

“There’s broad consensus among frontline law enforcement professionals that a whole lot more needs to be done, particularly with respect to young people coming into contact with weapons, bringing guns to school,” Torrez said. 

On Monday, the governor acknowledged the attorney general’s letter. 

“We are looking at the proposal for examples sent by the attorney general, but there are other folks that I’m meeting with like the domestic violence coalition later this month,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. 

But added, she already has plans for what she wants out of the session. 

“And you can expect to see an assault weapon ban on my call,” Lujan Grisham said. 

But the attorney general is still hopeful the blueprint he put together will still make an appearance in the Roundhouse next month, in one form or another. 

“We want to make sure that the legislative leaders themselves have a chance to organize this into a comprehensive package and make a strategic determination about whether or not they want to handle this in all one package. Or if they want to start breaking it into discrete pieces to address,” said Torrez.