Attorney general pushes for New Mexico’s first civil rights division

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Attorney General Raúl Torrez wants to create a civil rights division that would hold public officials and public bodies accountable — and he says he’d focus first on protecting children.

The idea is to formally task the attorney general with monitoring equal justice under the law. So, if someone at the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department is not doing what they’re supposed to, or if schools are disciplining students unequally, the state can have an outside agency investigate and ask a court to order compliance.

The division would also monitor government officials across the board. So, if there’s an issue with a sheriff’s department, the division would investigate and recommend changes or civil enforcement.

The legislation to create the division, Senate Bill 426, passed its final committee Thursday morning and is waiting for a floor vote.

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Track SB 426 during the legislative session.