Child abuse bill moves forward in Senate

Sen. Greg Baca, R-Belen

SANTA FE — A proposal to toughen penalties for a variety of crimes against children cleared its first Senate committee this week, but without an endorsement.

The “no recommendation” motion means Senate Bill 96 can keep moving through the Legislature. Its next stop is the Senate Judiciary Committee — one of two remaining committees it must clear to reach the Senate floor.

Sen. Greg Baca, a Belen Republican and sponsor of the bill, said the proposal would fix “gaping holes” in the New Mexico laws prohibiting graphic communications with children and the sentencing structure for harming kids.

The bill is one of Republican Gov. Susana Martinez’s priorities this session.

Opponents of the proposal say imposing tougher penalties won’t actually deter crime.

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