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Senate panel OKs crime bills

SANTA FE – The Senate Public Affairs Committee on Thursday endorsed two crime-related bills that passed the House earlier.

Both bills now go to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

House Bill 29, which passed 5-4, would authorize counties and municipalities to enact curfews for children under 16 between midnight and 5 a.m.

Supporters said curfews would protect children as well as deter juvenile crime.

But opponents said that there is no evidence that curfews work, and that they would just worsen the relationship between police and young people. They also said curfew ordinances could result in racial profiling.

House Bill 72, which passed the committee unanimously, would give judges access to certain offenders’ juvenile records when they’re making decisions about whether to release them before trial.

The offenders would have to be under 30 years old and charged with felonies, and the juvenile records would have to involve serious offenses.