Protecting the people of New Mexico and providing a safe environment for us to raise our families is one of the primary purposes of government and it’s always been one of my top priorities. In the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, New Mexico ranks as the 4th most violent state in the country. This statistic is unacceptable and I have sponsored and supported numerous pieces of legislation aimed at strengthening our state police force, increasing criminal penalties for crimes against children, and keeping violent criminals in jail and off our streets to make sure New Mexico doesn’t continue to rank among the most violent states in the country.
With the rash of high-profile crimes and increased violent crime rates in New Mexico over the past year, I made a commitment to the people of New Mexico that we would work to make sure they are safe in their homes and communities.
During the last legislative session, I worked across the aisle to pass SJR1, a Constitutional Amendment which will allow judges to keep the most dangerous violent repeat offenders behind bars pending trial. We also passed legislation to increase jail time for some of the most hideous criminals – those who exploit children by producing, distributing, or possessing child pornography. We increased jail time for repeat DWI offenders. I was proud to sponsor “Jaydon’s Law,” which will provide judges with up-to-date information about violent criminals so that they can make good sentencing decisions. By improving the firearm background check system, we will be better able to keep firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill and felons.
During my time in the legislature, we also passed and enhanced Katie’s law, which now requires individuals arrested for felonies to provide DNA samples. Those samples allow law enforcement to solve cold cases and provide a valuable database to catch repeat offenders who commit new crimes. I am also sponsoring legislation to increase penalties for child abusers and streamline criminal databases so that judges and law enforcement have the full picture of a criminal’s history when making sentencing and detention decisions.
I will continue to work across the aisle to make New Mexico a safe place to work and raise a family.