- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico House of Representatives unanimously approved legislation that requires cellphone and pager companies to issue Amber Alerts to their customers.

Republican Sarah Maestas Barnes of Albuquerque is the sponsor of the bill. She says everything must be done to bring missing children home safely.

Maestas Barnes says expanding the system to ensure Amber Alerts reach all New Mexicans with cellphones is critical and will save lives.

The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration. If approved, the expanded alerts will come at no charge to customers.

The system is designed to alert people about a missing or abducted child. Supporters credit the program with finding and saving nearly 500 children nationwide since 2002.

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