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Thursday, February 6, 2003

Domestic-Abuse Bill Reviewed

Journal Capitol Bureau
    SANTA FE A proposed law to hold some domestic-violence offenders for 48 hours after an arrest is under review by the House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee.
    The measure (HB 156) is aimed at giving people arrested for battering household members a chance to cool down after a domestic violence incident.
    It also would help victims, the sponsor said.
    "The whole idea is to have a time period to allow someone to seek help," said Rep. Teresa Zanetti, R-Albuquerque.
    The bill has remained in committee for additional work after some legislators and audience members expressed concern about the bill possibly contradicting constitutional rights.
    "I think your bill violates the Constitution in certain ways," Rep. Al Park, D-Albuquerque, told Zanetti at a hearing Tuesday. Park said he will work with Zanetti in hopes of bringing the bill back to the committee next week.
    Meanwhile, another bill aimed at fighting domestic violence has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
    The approved measure, (HB 414) would fine a person convicted of domestic violence between $150 and $500, depending on the number of convictions.
    Sponsor Rep. Danice Picraux, D-Albuquerque, said the bill will provide a source of funding for domestic-violence treatment and prevention programs.