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Editorial: Get failed child sex-crime bill on the 2020 to-do list

The bipartisan compromise that went into the final version of Senate Bill 55 was something New Mexico lawmakers could be proud of. Legislators from both parties worked out a way to extend deadlines for prosecuting offenders accused of committing certain sexual crimes against children. It was a fine moment when the bill passed the House with a rare unanimous vote.

The moment the bill had to be vetoed because of a drafting error? Not so fine.

According to Sunday’s Journal, sponsor Sen. Jeff Steinborn, D-Las Cruces, says an omission that could have actually shortened the prosecution period in some cases happened late in the session when people were “working long hours.” OK, but it was still quite an omission to make.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham was right to reject the bill, and it’s promising she indicated she would put it on the agenda for next year’s 30-day budget-centric legislative session. Lawmakers should make sure its spirit of compromise survives and it gets to her desk again.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.

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