Gov. Lujan Grisham has until April 5 to sign bills from legislative session
March 27, 2019 09:01 AM
SANTA FE, N.M.- The clock is ticking for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to act on hundreds of bills that were passed during the 60-day legislative session.
The deadline for the governor to sign legislation is April 5.
A bill the governor is still weighing would allow some convicted criminals to have their record wiped clean.
Officials with the governor’s office said House Bill 370 is still going through their internal review.
If the governor signs the bill into law, it would give people who are convicted of a misdemeanor or non-violent felony the chance to have their criminal record erased after they serve their sentence.
There would be a waiting period depending on the charge and the decision would ultimately be up to a judge.
The bill's sponsor says it would make it easier for convicts to find a job and housing.
“If you got arrested in your early 20s, and you're applying for a big wheel job in your 40s, you have to explain it, that's not who you are,” said Rep. Antonio "Moe" Maestas. “Over the course of 10 or 20 years, you can expunge those arrest records which remain on your record and have a fresh start for employment"
The bill also has opponents.
Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, said the bill means employers wouldn't have the full picture of who they're hiring.
“Business has to be able to understand the criminal histories of people they are hiring because those some people will be interacting with their clients, with their employees, with their customers, so they have a right to know who they’re hiring and what those criminal histories look like,” Cole said.
According to the New Mexico legislature's website, Gov. Lujan Grisham has already signed at least 65 bills that were passed by the legislature.
Representatives with the governor’s office said hundreds of bills are either on her desk or expected to be sent to her.
Updated: March 27, 2019 09:01 AM
Created: March 26, 2019 03:44 PM
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