New Mexico legislators approved Friday’s House approval of a bill which increases penalties for murder and attempted murder charges, and repeals the statute-of-limits for filing such charges.
The bipartisan bill was approved by the state House 66-0. It now moves to the Senate. The Democratic-led Legislature has until February 17 to submit bills to the Democratic Governor. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The minimum sentence for attempted murder would go up from three to nine years in prison to nine. The sentence for second-degree killing, which is intentional killing under certain circumstances, would go up from 15 to 18 years.
Lujan Grisham criticized Democratic legislators earlier this week for their slow pace in working on anti-crime legislations. Concerns about constitutional rights and effectiveness have caused delays in efforts to ban pretrial release from certain crimes.
Separately, the House legislators voted Thursday night without opposition to expand the eligibility purposes of state grants for law enforcement. The initiative will now be sent to the Senate for further vetting.
These proposed changes would provide financial benefits to emerging policing programs and intervention programs. They coordinate treatment for drug addicts, offer transitional housing to ease prison’s aftermath, and expand “crisis interventions teams”, which reduce violence during encounters between police and the mentally ill.
Lujan Grisham expressed her support for House-approved measures to combat crime amid an unprecedented number of homicides here.
Other matters: Legislators have proposed a tax relief package for working families and Social Security beneficiaries, which would also slightly lower gross receipts tax rates on retail and business sales.
On Thursday, a Senate panel endorsed a tax relief package that would eliminate taxes on Social Security income but not for retirees with higher incomes. It also provided a slight reduction in state tax on gross receipts for most retail and business sales.
Proposed tax rebates are currently under review, but have not been given a public hearing.
Democratic lawmakers support a $1 billion increase in general funds spending for the upcoming fiscal year. This increases starts July 1, with room for $400 million tax cuts. The state would still have approximately $2.6 billion more money in June 2023 if the proposal is approved.