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Senate Republicans Advance “Children First” CYFD Reform Proposals

SANTA FE – Today, Senator Gregg Schmedes (R-Tijeras) and Senator Crystal Diamond (R-Elephant Butte) advanced two proposals to protect endangered children and help address some of the issues plaguing the Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD).

Senator Diamond’s SB 107 cleared its second committee, the Senate Judiciary Committee, with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill, as amended, ensures that victims of repeat abusers are given highest priority for probable cause removal hearings and that there are timely custody hearings for all children who have been abused and/or neglected.

“I am thankful that my colleagues not only saw the urgency of this measure, but helped us ensure that these children in dangerous situations are protected,” said Senator Diamond. “Innocent and endangered children deserve our judicial system’s highest priority and this bill is one step in that direction.”

Senate Bill 107 will now be sent to the full Senate for consideration.

Senator Schmedes’ SB 207 to codify the Child Abuse Best Interest Standard in law passed the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support. The bill clarifies that the court must consider a child's best interest when hearing cases involving abused and neglected children.

“This is a key step to put safeguards in place for our children in crisis situations,” said Senator Schmedes. “While we await structural change at CYFD, we must ensure that our children’s best interests are at the center of these cases.”

Senate Bill 207 will now be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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