Baby Brianna’s expansion bill stalls in Senate
February 13, 2018 10:28 PM
SANTA FE, N.M. -- Frustrated with her fellow lawmakers, one state representative says time is running out to pass a bill she’s sponsoring that would give New Mexico’s worst child abusers life in prison regardless of the victim’s age.
House Bill 100 cleared the House last week but has since stalled in the Senate. With the session ending Thursday, those pushing the bill didn't mince words.
"I don't have an explanation as to why this bill has not received a hearing," said state Rep. Sarah Maestas Barnes, R-Albuquerque.
Maestas Barnes held a news conference at the Roundhouse Tuesday afternoon, urging lawmakers in the Senate to pass her bill to expand Baby Brianna’s Law. It's named after a baby girl who was beaten to death by family members in Las Cruces in 2002.
Under the current law someone convicted of child abuse resulting in death can only face a life sentence if the child was under 12.
"This is the same tragic ending that we’ve had in prior sessions, and it is our hope that those leaders in the Senate will take notice of the critical importance of this legislation," Maestas Barnes said.
New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas did not hold back during Tuesday’s news conference, saying he’s disgusted a bill to include all victims under 18 hasn’t been passed.
"I'll say it because I don’t care. Some people need to be warehoused. Some people need to be kept away from the public because they can’t quit victimizing other people," he said. "And that’s who were talking about here: the worst of the worst. So it’s beyond me why the Senate won’t move on this."
KOB reached out to a spokesperson for the Senate Democrats because they hold the majority and control the schedule, but was told no one was available to respond at the moment.
STUDENTS RALLY AGAINST DWI
Hundreds of children took over the Roundhouse to help raise awareness to a dangerous trend that has been plaguing the state.
The March of Sorrow, also known as the March of Hope, is an annual event about DWI prevention and awareness. About 200 students from high schools around Santa Fe marched through downtown after holding a press conference in the Roundhouse rotunda.
The Student Wellness Action Team puts on the event.
"Some kids think it's a joke, but it's not. Drinking and driving or being intoxicated behind the wheel is not a good thing," Santa Fe High School student Daisy Gephart said.
Updated: February 13, 2018 10:28 PM
Created: February 13, 2018 05:31 PM
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