Gov. Susana Martinez delivered this year’s State of the State address on Tuesday, which also marked the start of the legislative session.
A big budgetary shortfall has demanded nothing but belt-tightening in recent years, but Gov. Martinez said the state managed to increase funding for child protective services. Still, she drew on the names of kids killed through abuse in New Mexico and called for stiffer criminal penalties.
"If you kill a child, a law enforcement officer or a corrections officer, you deserve the death penalty," she said to much applause. "If you intentionally abuse a child and that child dies, regardless of that child’s age, you should never get out of prison. "
The governor lauded advancements in public education in New Mexico after what she called bold reform and said funding cuts should not affect the classroom. Her budget proposal would dip into public school districts’ reserves and teachers’ take-home pay. She also suggested denying or revoking driver’s licenses to teens who regularly ditch school.
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