- Associated Press - Friday, February 5, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A proposal in to add law enforcement officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians as protected classes to New Mexico’s hate crimes law has been approved by the state House of Representatives.

The House voted 58-4 to increase jail sentences by one year for certain felony crimes targeting police officer because of their status as police. The bill was amended to include firefighters and EMTs, and now moves to the Senate.

The initiative from House Majority Floor Leader Nate Gentry is part of a long list of criminal justice reforms and enhanced sentences proposed in response to a string of high-profile crimes in the Albuquerque area.

Republican Gov. Susana Martinez is pushing a tough-on-crime agenda even as many states seek out alternatives to mandatory sentences and more options for rehabilitation.

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