Creating the offense of human trafficking is high on AG King's legislative agenda. He has helped form a task force dedicated to articulating the difference between human trafficking (the 21st century equivalent of slavery) and human smuggling. Confusion between trafficking and smuggling of people contributed to the failure of a human trafficking law in the 2007 state Legislature. Attorney General King intends that the task force will bring all interested parties together to craft a human trafficking bill that will have wide support and therefore stand a better chance of passing in an upcoming legislative session. New Mexico is the only southern border state that does not have a trafficking law.
The Attorney General created the Immigrant Consumer Services unit within the Consumer Protection Division in order to extend protections already in place to New Mexico’s immigrant community.
New Mexico will follow South Dakota AG Long's lead in instituting a DWI program that requires repeat offenders to submit to a sobriety test twice a day, seven days a week. We will support legislation that would take a new approach to DWI by focusing on the drinking rather than the driving. And this administration will continue other legislative efforts to curb the scourge of DWI.
The Attorney General’s Office has been successful in getting better laws to combat child predators on the Internet and we intend to bolster our enforcement capabilities through our own Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
In May 2007 the AG appointed the Family Violence Protection Act Task Force. The mission of the Task Force is to allow for constructive discourse regarding necessary or pressing amendments to the Family Violence Protection Act in order to draft legislation for consideration by lawmakers. Some changes are required by federal law and will ensure funding for New Mexico programs.
The Attorney General is actively addressing the problem of methamphetamine use, illegal manufacturing and importation of the drug. Plans include public information campaigns, treatment options, legislation to increase meth-related penalties and establishment of cooperative law enforcement and abatement efforts between Mexican border authorities and New Mexico.
The high price of New Mexico gasoline and diesel products compared to surrounding states is a very important concern for the Attorney General. The AGO has surveyed the state’s petroleum fuels industry for answers that may help explain why fuel costs remain relatively high. Analysis of the survey replies is ongoing with further investigation planned.
The long awaited and debated “Cockfighting Ban” took effect in 2007 and the Attorney General will defend its validity in court. The AG has also initiated the formation of ACT, the Animal Cruelty Taskforce, to enforce New Mexico animal cruelty laws. This taskforce brings together representatives from government, law enforcement, animal care groups and others who are serious about protecting New Mexico animals.
Recognizing the growing number of cases involving abuse of elderly citizens in New Mexico, AG King added an “Elder Abuse” focus to the Medicaid Fraud Division of the Attorney General’s Office. Senior citizens and their families can expect cases of elder abuse to be vigorously prosecuted by this unit.
‘Good Government’ may well become the hallmark of Attorney General Gary King’s administration with his dedication and actions to ensure that state government benefits all New Mexicans. The formation of a new Government Accountability Division and a new Special Counsel for Investigations, Prosecutions and Appeals, will all work together to fight government corruption. We will also support legislation that strengthens the practice of good government and will continue to forward our own proposals to Legislators.