SANTA FE, N.M. — Last legislative session, HB 122, “Duty to Report Child Abuse and Neglect,” sponsored by Albuquerque Democrats Antonio “Moe” Maestas and Monica Youngblood, died in committee and never made it to that chamber’s floor. Ditto for SB 87, “Child Abuse Definition and Investigation,” sponsored by Silver City Democrat and now-Lt. Gov. Howie Morales.
Those bills would have made it clear that “every person who has information that is not privileged as a matter of law and who knows or has a reasonable suspicion that a child is an abused or a neglected child shall report the matter immediately” to law enforcement and that this applies even to “abuse committed by a person who is not the child’s parent, guardian or custodian.” Sen. Mimi Stewart’s SB 31 met the same fate. It would have set aside $100,000 to make sure teachers got training on reporting allegations of sexual assault.
And so, New Mexico continues to play the game of pass the pervert while too many of the state’s children remain stuck in a reoccurring nightmare of abuse.