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New Mexico governor touts three bills she hopes will reduce crime

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(The Center Square) – New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham was pleased to see three bills pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that she hopes will improve public safety.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee today approved three more critically important bills contained in my historic plan to enhance public safety in New Mexico,” the governor said in a statement. “I implore lawmakers to respond to the urgent demands of New Mexicans and pass the remaining bills in my public safety package so I can sign them into law.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved three separate bills on Tuesday.

HB 316 would make it illegal for a felon to use a firearm “during the commission of a felony,” according to the release. Doing so would carry a prison sentence of up to five years, while subsequent convictions would have a sentence of up to nine years.

SB 271 would establish in law that when a court gets notice that someone on pretrial release for a felony crime has been arrested for another felony, that person will stay in custody without bond until every judge on all involved cases holds a hearing to consider the conditions of the release.

SB 96 would raise the penalty for second-degree murder to up to 18 years and an attempted second-degree murder to up to nine years.

State Senator Craig Brandt, R-Sandoval, is skeptical of the efficacy of the three proposals.

“None of the gun bills or gun restrictions that they’ve passed, none of them will save a single person,” Brandt told KOAT. “They don’t deal with the issues that are happening on our streets. Unfortunately, the only thing the governor has focused on as far as crimes bills, are not crime bills at all. It’s bills to restrict people’s constitutional rights.”

The governor’s office did not respond to a request for more information on how the bills would stop crime.

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