ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – House Democrats proposed a plan Thursday to fight crime in the state, while House Republicans quickly fired back, asking what took them so long.
Democrats say New Mexico has a crime crisis, and too many families don’t feel safe. They’re proposing changes to sentencing laws, increasing penalties for felons caught with guns, and tackling problems Albuquerque is facing with pre-trial detention.
Democrats also want to help cities across the state get federal funds to pay for more officers.
“When Albuquerque doesn’t do well, it holds back the rest of the state. When Albuquerque does well, it can be an engine for the state and help pull us forward,” House Speaker Brian Egolf said.
“We’ve been working on this for eight years, trying to move the needle. I’ve been there six years, trying to get these things through,” Rep. Kelly Fajardo (R) responded.
House Republicans say they agree with strengthening laws, but say a police shortage didn’t have to happen.
They blame Democrats for shooting down a Return-to-Work Bill that would have allowed departments to hire retired officers.