House Republican Leadership Urges Governor to Set a Special Session Agenda That Truly Provides Improved Public Safety for New Mexico

Pdf letter at end of article

 Santa Fe, New Mexico --- Today, House Republican leadership sent a letter to Governor Lujan Grisham urging her to utilize the upcoming July 18 special session to set an agenda that will immediately improve public safety for all New Mexicans.   House Republican Leader Rod Montoya (Farmington), House Republican Whip Alan Martinez (Rio Rancho), and House Republican Caucus Chair Gail Armstrong (Magdalena) told the governor that her proposed special session agenda of rewriting assisted outpatient treatment and criminal competency statutes was undoable.  The Republican leaders explained there are simply too many unanswered questions regarding cost, why such changes are needed now, how many behavioral health providers will be needed in the future, and a lack of a clear strategy of knowing where additional professional staff will come from for the Legislature to make good public policy during a two-to-three-day session.

Instead, the House Republican leadership team encouraged the governor to set a special session agenda that focuses on enacting real solutions to our state’s violent crime problem, reducing the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs across our southern border, and adopting reforms to address the Children, Youth and Families Department’s (CYFD) critical problems.  The letter to the governor also pointed out the need to increase the criminal penalties for fentanyl dealers as this dangerous and deadly drug must be eradicated from our communities.

Republican Leader Montoya said, “The governor has a unique opportunity to set a special session agenda that would allow Republicans and Democrats to work together and solve the problems New Mexicans are demanding the Legislature address. Our constituents are growing tired of state government ignoring their calls to stop the revolving-door criminal justice system, secure our southern border, and protect those children who are abused and neglected.”

Republican Whip Martinez added, “The governor’s desire to utilize the special session to make wholesale changes to highly complex behavioral health statutes during a limited special session three-day session means those changes will never receive the full vetting and consideration they deserve.  The result will be many unintended consequences that could make the behavioral health system even more inefficient and costly.   Rather, the changes the governor wants to make should be studied closely during the summer and fall and then be given serious review in the 60-day session in 2025.”

House Republican Caucus Chair Armstrong concluded, “House Republican members are ready to work with the governor and legislative Democrats to find solutions to the issues that New Mexicans believe will have the most positive impact in helping them feel secure in their homes and communities. In fact, House Republicans have offered many proposals over the past several years to reduce violent crime, secure our border, and reform CYFD, but nearly all these proposals have never been seriously debated by the Legislature.”

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