On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed a committee vote on S.B. 252, an anti-police bill that is disguised as a “use of force standard” sponsored by state Sen. Harold Pope (D-Bernalillo) and Rep. Angelica Rubio (D-Doña Ana). The move to delay the vote came after the committee lost its quorum and was not able to take action on the measure.
According to the bill’s fiscal impact report (FIR), “The bill establishes a process for law enforcement agencies to report officer-involved injuries or deaths to the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and for DPS to report annually on all incidents to the governor, Legislature, and the public.”
Furthermore, “Law enforcement agencies that fail to comply with these reporting requirements are ineligible to apply for any state-agency-administered grants. The bill also requires law enforcement agencies to adopt and publish use of force policies that include a range of requirements” (emphasis added).
DPS noted major concerns about the constitutionality of the bill. The FIR stated, “DPS asserts that SB252’s definitions of police homicide are unconstitutionally vague because they establish subjective criteria to determine whether an officer failed to evaluate the totality of the circumstances provided in the bill.”
Regarding police dogs, DPS noted that a provision of the bill “to disallow law enforcement officers from bringing police dogs to a protest or demonstration is that it may prevent officers from bringing [bomb sniffing] dogs to protests or demonstrations, a safety measure.”
Many law enforcers showed up at the state Capitol on Wednesday to oppose the bill, including even leftist sheriffs who stood opposed.
Also in the Senate Judiciary Committee, S.B. 116 by Sen. Carrie Hamblen (D-Doña Ana) to ban firearm purchase and possession for those under 21 stalled on a 4-4 tie vote.
Another extreme bill, H.B. 9, which would make New Mexicans felons if they do not lock up their guns and a third party accesses them, passed the Senate Finance Committee and now heads to the Senate floor, where it will face intense debate.
The Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee advanced H.B. 7, which would force public bodies to facilitate abortions and “gender-affirming care” after intense debate in that committee. It will next be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee.