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F I S C A L I M P A C T R E P O R T
SPONSOR McSorley
ORIGINAL DATE
LAST UPDATED
1/31/06
HB
SHORT TITLE Domestic Abuse Victim Substitute Addresses
SB 545
ANALYST Medina
APPROPRIATION (dollars in thousands)
Appropriation
Recurring
or Non-Rec
Fund
Affected
FY06
FY07
NFI
(Parenthesis ( ) Indicate Expenditure Decreases)
Relates to the Family Violence Protection Act
Duplicates House Bill 108
SOURCES OF INFORMATION
LFC Files
Responses Received From
Secretary of State (SOS)
Attorney General (AG)
SUMMARY
Synopsis of Bill
Senate Bill 545 amends the Family Violence Protection Act (Chapter 40, Article 13 NMSA
1978) to provide that a victim of domestic abuse, or the victimís representative as defined by
Section 31-26-3 NMSA 1978 who has reason to believe that their safety is at risk may apply to
the Secretary of State to the use of the Secretary of State as a substitute address.
The bill requires that an application for use of the Secretary of State as a substitute address be
provided by the Secretary of State and that it include space for the applicant to enter: a statement
that the Secretary of State is acting as an agent of the victim for purposes of the forwarding ad-
dress, a new mailing address for forwarding received mail and a telephone number where the
victim can be contacted by the Secretary of state, payment of a $75.00 application fee, and the
signature of the victim or victimís representative.
pg_0002
Senate Bill 545 Ė Page 2
The bill also provides that the Secretary of State maintain a confidential record of applications
for a substitute address and forward any mail received on behalf of a victim of domestic abuse to
the new mailing address provided on the application.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS
This bill does not contain an appropriation to the Secretary of Stateís office in order to provide
for any administrative costs incurred by the Secretary of State for implementation of the substi-
tute address program. The provisions of this bill may require that additional resources be appro-
priated to the Secretary of State.
SIGNIFICANT ISSUES
According to the Attorney Generalís office, New Mexico ranks third in the nation for domestic
violence-related homicides. There were 26,940 law enforcement reported domestic violence in-
cidents in New Mexico in 2004, a rate of 15.3 incidents of domestic violence for every 1,000
persons. The goal of this measure is to help victims of domestic violence stay safe. It is designed
to prevent offenders from using state and local government records to locate the victims.
The $75.00 application fee for participation in the substitute address program may be waived if
the applicant is indigent.
ADMINISTRATIVE IMPLICATIONS
The Secretary of State asserts that, due to the volume of and sensitivity of any mail received, a
separate database may be needed to log any mail received. The Secretary of State also contends
that additional staff will be needed to catalog, send, and receive mail. Applications will need to
be reviewed and confidential records will need to be maintained.
According to the Secretary of State, twenty other states currently have a program similar to that
proposed by this bill. Of those states, many employ the services of an employee who has been
through a background check and is trained to handle sensitive materials as well as a program
manager to implement the substitute address program.
DXM/nt