State Auditor prepares for work on clearing rape kit backlog

New Mexico’s State Auditor is gearing up for the next step in clearing the backlog of untested sexual assault evidence kits, or rape kits, throughout the state. State Auditor Tim Keller announced Thursday his office will conduct a statewide survey of law enforcement agencies and an audit of eight police agencies to get an idea of how rape kits are tested. “We are working with law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to shine a light on what changes are needed to eliminate the backlog and keep it from happening again,” Keller said in a statement. Last year Keller’s office found that there were over 5,000 untested evidence kits around the state. A majority of these were within the Albuquerque Police Department.

Martinez gives low-key sendoff to low-key session

Following the 2016 legislative session, Gov. Susana Martinez touted passage of some tougher-on-crime laws, a new state budget and a bill to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID Act. In a short post-session press conference, she touted her five-year legislative battle of changing the state law that gives driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants as complete. But she also acknowledged the caveat. Related Story: Sanchez happy with what Senate accomplished

“While this bill allows limited permits for those who are here illegally, they must prove residency and identity and subject themselves to fingerprinting and background checks,” she said. Until this year, Martinez said she wouldn’t accept a two-tier system if it still allowed undocumented immigrants to still drive legally.