Once again, well-intentioned legislation in the Roundhouse is being touted as a way to protect the identities of sexual assault victims, when in reality it’s a way to circumvent due process and shield those who would make false accusations.
Senate Bill 118, sponsored by Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, is a reconstituted version of his SB 149, which was vetoed in 2017. This time around, it’s on Democratic lawmakers’ “rocket docket,” meaning along with 37 other bills it will be fast-tracked through committees next week while receiving minimal, if any, scrutiny.
Top-ranking Democrats have said the “rocket docket” is a way to show New Mexicans that lawmakers are serious about having a productive session. That’s one interpretation. It’s also a way to ram though legislation without having to answer too many questions. It’s a way to disenfranchise 19 brand new House members who will get little chance to debate it in committee.
While most bills go to two or three committees in each chamber, those on the “rocket docket” only have one hearing.