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Governor announces special legislative session on public safety

New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks at Arcosa Wind Towers, Aug. 9, 2023, in Belen, N.M.
Ross D. Franklin
New Mexico Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham speaks at Arcosa Wind Towers, Aug. 9, 2023, in Belen, N.M.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Wednesday that she is calling a special legislative session to pass more public safety legislation.

This will be the 5th special session Lujan Grisham has called as governor.

She did not say what bills will be up for consideration for the special session, but did say in a statement, “The special session in July will enable us to deliver additional statutory changes that reduce danger and risk New Mexico communities face every day.”

Lujan Grisham recently told NMPBS that she expects there to be 3 to 5 bills, possibly including one to regulate panhandling.

“Like any other businesses, panhandling is a business,” she said. “There may be other constitutional regulations that you could place.”

Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) said in a statement that legislative leadership has so far discussed this and bills related to criminal competency and felons in possession of a firearm.

He also said that those involved in talks agreed to wait on bills that address gun safety and pre-trial detention until next year’s 60-day session.

House Democratic leadership said in a statement, “We must enter the special session with a set of achievable goals that will genuinely make our communities safer, improve access to health care and services, and protect the rights of New Mexicans.”

House Majority Whip Reena Szczepanski (D-Santa Fe) said she would like to see legislation that would promote access to behavioral health care.

“I know in Santa Fe county, we really struggle with the availability of treatment for adolescents and teens, and so that's certainly an area where we could do a lot of investment and improvement,” she said.

The session will start on Thursday, July 18th, and the Governor’s office said it will only last a few days.

This coverage is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners. 

Megan Myscofski was a reporter with KUNM's Poverty and Public Health Project.
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