- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - A proposal has been approved by the state Senate’s Public Affairs Committee that would increase the necessary qualifications needed to for sheriff in any New Mexico county.

Senate Democrats say there are currently no minimum qualifications outlined in state law for holding a sheriff’s office.

The bill sponsored by Sen. Michael Padilla and approved in committee Saturday would include requiring candidates for sheriff to be at least 21 years old and have at least seven years of professional law enforcement experience, plus a certification of basic law enforcement training.

Those with prior felony convictions would not be eligible to run for sheriff under the measure.

Padilla calls the list of proposed requirements “common sense qualifications” that will help improve public safety.

Padilla is an Albuquerque Democrat.

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