Curfew. It's not just for war-torn countries where martial law is imposed from time to time by the government and its military to keep chaos under control. It could also come to fruition in New Mexico, at least for children under the age of 16 between midnight and 5 am, in any city or county that chooses to do so across the state.
Notable exceptions under the proposed bill would include any students who are returning from work or a school function or those minors who are accompanied by a parent, guardian or legal custodian.
Already, the concept of curfew has passed the House of Representatives in the Roundhouse, and it’s due to be heard by the end of the week by the Senate Public Affairs Committee, according to Penny Mendoza, committee secretary.
The bill, the bipartisan product of House Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, and Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, passed the House by the required two-thirds vote on Feb. 1, on the premise that it will help reduce crime in the wee hours while simultaneously setting restrictions during the school day in a state that ranks 49th in the nation in education.
Gov. Susana Martinez said at the start of the session that she supports the notion.
"If adopted," HB 29 reads, "the curfew may require children, subject to the provisions of the Compulsory School Attendance Law, to be present on school premises when the public, private or home school program that the child is attending is in session."
And even if the law is adopted, Santa Fe's last attempt at imposing a curfew for teens in 2007 went over like a lead balloon. Stay tuned. SFR will update you on this one.
The final House bill carreid with these amendments.