I Thought We Had a Budget Crisis

If ever you needed evidence that progressives need to retake the roundhouse, read on. I couldn’t possibly have made this up.  

death-penalty-2What does Gov. Martinez do when faced with a massive budget deficit for 2016-17 and being out of compliance with our State Constitution for our $200M deficit for 2015-16?  Force legislators to first focus on three draconian crime bills that she knew with absolute certainty there had no hope of passage.

The Senate took a more mature approach, ignored her crime proposals, worked to develop a series of bills related to the budget crisis (the supposed purpose of this session), and went home. We appear to have a stalemate as the GOP would prefer to divert our attention from the budget crisis and the need to close tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy with a crime bill that is absolutely shameful.

To appreciate the crime bill HR 7 passed by the House, you’d have to time travel back to the 19th Century when criminal justice referred to those with mental health conditions as “retarded” and “insane.” The bill regresses even further by requiring forced medical procedures in open court to determine if a woman facing the death penalty is pregnant.  If that weren’t enough, Martinez offered up another bill to waste our time on, the Three Strikes and You’re Out bill that has failed so miserably in California. Really?

ProgressNow NM has an excellent summary of the Death Penalty bill click here for excerpts from their report and the full bill is presented here HB-7. In reporting on HB-7 in Progress NowNM, Pat Davis comments:  “There are so many things wrong with this it’s hard to know where to start. But these bizarre components just show how little consideration has actually gone into this proposal, and how extreme it actually is,” Davis adds.

Also from Progress NowNM, “These provisions are bizarre, terrible, invasive, and inhumane and no woman should be forced to undergo these procedures against her will, and especially not before a judge, witnesses and a panel of doctors in a public courtroom ,” says Marya Jones of ProgressNow New Mexico.

Leave it to the GOP to express their valuing human life in a truly bizarre and inhumane fashion.

To read Progress Now NM’s full report on this bill click here.

Retake the Roundhouse believes on relying on facts and research to guide policy decisions, so click here for a summary of Alan Webber’s excellent analysis of the Death Penalty in New Mexico and a link to his full report.  And the California State Legislative Analysts Office has conducted a complete analysis of the Three Strikes law as it has played out in California.  Click here for a summary of this analysis and a link to their full report.

We strongly believe that the best antidote to so many misguided policy options, almost always foisted upon us by the GOP, is to rely on facts and research. The issues menu of our website has a growing inventory of research and analysis with facts and data that can be used when discussing issues with friends, family and colleagues who voice support for policies that make little or no sense.

Categories: Criminal Justice, State Budget

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