SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state appeals court ruling that limits who is required to report suspected child abuse and neglect in New Mexico is being blasted by Republican Gov. Susana Martinez and Democratic Attorney General Gary King as a foolish decision that puts children in danger.
The decision by the state Court of Appeals brought together the two rivals in the 2014 governor’s race. King’s office said it will ask the state Supreme Court to overturn the ruling, and Martinez’s office said she would take the issue up with the Legislature.
The Appeals Court ruled Monday that only 10 categories of people listed in state law, including teachers and physicians, are required to report suspected child abuse to authorities. Under the court’s interpretation of the law, a relative who suspects a child is being abused would not be required to report it to authorities.
A spokesman for the attorney general, Phil Sisneros, said the court’s narrow interpretation of the abuse reporting requirement “could place children in jeopardy.”