February 9, 2016

House GOP urges Senate to hear crime bills

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Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque

Some House Republicans gathered on Tuesday to implore Senate leadership to start hearing Republican crime bills that are in Senate committees.

Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque

Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque

Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, a sponsor of a handful of bills to increase penalties on crimes, called out the Senate Democratic leaders for stalling some bills in committee. Members of the Senate majority previously said many of these bills were not given any vetting over appropriations in the House, therefore needed to be vetted by the Senate Finance Committee.

“One of the main reasons that the Senate is not moving on any of the crime bills by the House is because they are basically saying there’s not any money for that,” Pacheco said. “I emphatically disagree.”

NM Political Report reached out to Senate Democrats for a comment. We will add a response when we receive it.

Pacheco, along with Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Albuquerque, who is the chairman of the House Appropriations and Finance Committee, told reporters on Tuesday that the budget from the House accounts for any additional spending needed for their crime bills.

“We added money in every part of what we consider would be critical to addressing the issue of a priority,” Larrañaga said.

Rep. Alanzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Albuquerque, Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque

Rep. Alonzo Baldonado, R-Los Lunas, Rep. Larry Larrañaga, R-Albuquerque, Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque (r-l).

Both House Republicans also said the public is speaking out and asking for a solution to high crime rates. When asked whether Pacheco was using polling data to determine what New Mexicans want, he said he has spoken to constituents, victims and victims families to determine what New Mexicans want.

“I don’t have a poll but I know what the public is telling me,” Pacheco said.

The Senate Public Affairs Committee, the first stop for many pieces of legislation in the Senate, will begin hearing some House bills on Thursday.

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