Office would empower Attorney General to defend civil rights cases and prosecute violations
Santa Fe, NM- Today, the New Mexico House of Representatives voted 51-13 to pass Senate Bill 426, which would create a Civil Rights Division within the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office.
The Civil Rights Division created by SB 426 would have the authority to investigate civil rights violations and bring in civil actions for violations. The division would also collect information and make policy recommendations about the protection of New Mexicans’ civil rights to government entities.
“The work of this office will be critical to upholding New Mexicans’ fundamental civil rights and make sure violators of those rights are held accountable,” saidRepresentative Andrea Romero (D-Santa Fe) who presented the bill on the House floor. “This division will allow the Attorney General necessary resources to protect our constitutional rights and improve our policies across the state.”
Senate Bill 426 is sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes (D-Las Cruces), Senate President Pro Tem Mimi Stewart (D-Albuquerque), House Majority Caucus Chair Raymundo Lara (D-Chamberino), House Majority Whip Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe), and Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe). It now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.