AG gives explanation for child porn bill walkout

Following a dramatic exit from his staffers Tuesday night during committee debate on a bill to increase penalties on possession of child porn, Attorney General Hector Balderas said he’s asking the Senate to “clean up” the measure. “I think that child safety is the number one crisis in New Mexico,” Balderas said in an interview Wednesday. “I have my prosecutors fighting and lobbying for reforms.”

He said his staff will “absolutely protest” changes to proposed legislation that put children at risk. Protest from staffers in his office came when Senate Finance Committee successfully moved to exempt teen sexting from a measure cracking down on child porn possession. The measure, sponsored by Reps.

Pension forfeiture for corrupt officials passes committee

A House committee passed a bill Thursday that would strip public officials of their pensions if they are convicted of some public corruption offenses. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Zach Cook, R-Ruidoso, was originally aimed at taking all retirement funds from officials who violate public trust by breaking campaign finance or corruption laws. House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee Chairman Bill Rehm, R-Albuquerque, said some committee members were concerned that the original bill would unfairly take money put into the pension from a previous stint in public service. Rehm introduced a committee substitute to address the issue. “In the original version once the violation occurs it would go back and erase other retirement,” Rehm said.