New Mexico House Bill 81

The New Mexico legislature introduced a bill requiring the court to assess a person’s ability to pay any fine, fee or cost at the time of sentencing, and creating a presumption of indigency.

Key provisions: 

  • Requires the court to allow individuals to pay fines, fees or costs in installments not exceeding 2 percent of a person’s monthly net income or $10, whichever is greater. 
  • Permits job training, school attendance, or participation in social service or rehabilitation programs to count toward community service. 
  • Community service must be counted at twice the rate of the prevailing minimum wage. 
  • Requires that indigency be determined based on proof of enrollment in: temporary assistance for needy families; general assistance; supplemental nutrition assistance; supplemental security income; or federal food distribution program on Indian reservations.
  • Court costs, fees, or fines shall not be assessed against a person who is determined to be a needy person convicted of a criminal offense.

Read the bill here.

Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena
House Bill 81