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House passes child abuse reporting bill

The state House today unanimously approved legislation aimed at encouraging all New Mexicans to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

House Bill 29 was prompted by a state Court of Appeals opinion that interpreted state law to mean that only certain groups of people — such as doctors, police officers and teachers — have a duty to report abuse or neglect.

Minority Leader Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, the bill’s sponsor, said that’s not what legislators intended when the law was passed; they wanted everyone to be covered by the requirement. The bill makes that clear, he said.

The bill now heads to the Senate.