Politics Newsletter: Criminal competency and more on MLG’s special session agenda

Hello fellow political junkies! It’s good to be back after almost three months. Aside from the fireworks last week both in the sky and on Capitol Hill, the biggest upcoming legislative/political event in New Mexico is the special legislative session scheduled to begin on July 18 and expected to last three days. The special session’s […]

Politics Newsletter: Criminal competency and more on MLG’s special session agenda

Hello fellow political junkies!

It’s good to be back after almost three months.

Aside from the fireworks last week both in the sky and on Capitol Hill, the biggest upcoming legislative/political event in New Mexico is the special legislative session scheduled to begin on July 18 and expected to last three days.

The special session’s focus will be public safety including competency law and gun rights.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has five bills on her agenda for the special session.

These include a competency bill that seeks to allow judges to ask district attorneys to file for involuntary commitment up to seven days if the defendant falls under one or more of three circumstances: that the offense is a serious violent offense, that the defendant was a felon in possession of a firearm and/or if the defendant was found incompetent to stand trial two or more times in the last 12 months, according to Lujan Grisham spokesman Michael Coleman in an email to the NM Political Report last week.

Another seeks to update the felon firearm possession law to a second degree felony up from its current level as a third degree felony.

The third bill on the agenda is a Median/Pedestrian Safety Bill which seeks to make it a crime to loiter on a median 36 inches or less in areas with a speed limit of 30 or more miles per hour.

“We are not criminalizing homelessness. This is strictly designed to protect pedestrians and motorists and to address New Mexico’s status as the number one state for pedestrian fatalities,”Coleman said. “This also is not about banning panhandling. People are still free to ask for money on sidewalks and other public areas.”

Another bill is the National Incident Based Reporting System Bill which seeks to require all law enforcement agencies to submit crime and ballistics reports to the state Department of Public Safety as a means of tracking and analyzing crime data.

Finally there is the Involuntary Commitment Bill that seeks to “broaden the definitions of danger to self and danger to others in the involuntary commitment statute,” Coleman said in the email. “Making it clear to practitioners and the court that some people are too mentally ill to take care of themselves.”

Meanwhile on the Hill

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that “the nature of Presidential power entitles a former President to absolute immunity from criminal prosecution” for undoubtedly official acts with no immunity for unofficial acts.

This means that any president, current or former, is now immune to prosecution for official acts such as a military coup or assigning a military group, such as the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, to assassinate political rivals.

More on that from the Associated Press here.

Reactions from the New Mexico Congressional Delegation members can be found in my story here.

Upcoming interim committee meetings

As of July 3, there are no interim meetings scheduled for this week.

For more information about interim committee meetings, visit nmlegis.gov and click the Committees tab at the top of the screen.

2024 General Election

The New Mexico General Election is Nov. 5.

The Election Results 2024 will be posted to the New Mexico Secretary of State’s Office website after polls close at 7 p.m. on Nov. 5. It currently lists the 2024 Primary results.

For more information about elections contact your local county clerk’s office which can also help you check on or update your voter registration, a process that can also be done online at NMVote.org.

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