New Mexico governor signs auto-theft, daycare legislation

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New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has signed bills aimed at deterring auto theft, protecting domestic violence victims, improving daycare for toddlers and encouraging businesses to hire youths raised in foster homes.

The Republican governor signed an assortment of nearly 20 bills on Thursday that were sponsored by Democrats and GOP allies.

Two signed bills aim to address strangulation in domestic violence situations by increasing criminal penalties for aggravated battery someone is violently choked and expanding prevention training at law enforcement academies.

A bill from Republican Sen. Bill Rehm of Albuquerque will create an auto theft prevention authority to help local law enforcement agencies handle auto-theft related crimes including insurance fraud.

The Children, Youth and Families Department will develop standards for early childhood care programs under another approved bill.

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