State Sen. Craig Brandt, the Senate Republican Whip who represents Rio Rancho, issued two statements after three bills advanced through Senate committees.

Senate Bill 102 advanced through the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee Friday with unanimous, bipartisan support. The bill aims to strengthen the state’s racketeering law to give prosecutors an additional tool to go after modern criminal organizations.

Brandt, the bill’s sponsor, issued the following statement regarding SB102:

“After having conversations with top prosecutors and law enforcement, one thing is clear — it is career criminals who underpin the criminal enterprise fueling our state’s crime crisis. This bill is a key tool in the toolbelt of prosecutors, allowing them to attack and prosecute modern criminal organizations at every link in the chain. I’m thankful to the committee for their endorsement of this essential crimefighting legislation.”

Brandt also applauded the advancement of two law enforcement recruitment bills through the Senate Health and Public Affairs Committee Monday.

Senate Bill 87 would allow retired law enforcement officers and first responders to return to work while collecting their retirement. Senate Bill 124 would allow law enforcement officers from other states or those with federal law enforcement service to buy up to five years of service in the state’s retirement system.

“To see a safer New Mexico, we must retain, recruit and support our law enforcement officers,” Brandt said. “Our first responders stand in the divide between a depraved criminal world and our families. Thank you to our officers who work daily to protect our families and their leadership who helped us craft these bills.”

Senate Bill 87 and Senate Bill 124 will now be referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.