SB 168 Lobbyist Reporting Requirements and Fees sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn will be heard in the Senate Rules Committee on Wednesday, February 8 at 8:30 a.m.
New Mexico lags far behind other states in Updating the Lobbyist Regulation Act. Recent data shows a 6:1 ratio of lobbyists to each state legislator - that puts New Mexico’s citizens at an alarming disadvantage to have their voice heard.
To update the Lobbyist Regulation Act we must:
- Raise the filing fee for lobbyists and their employers from $50 to $100
- Amend the statute to require that all expenditures are reported, if the aggregate thereof equals $100 or more
- Require lobbyists to report which legislative or administrative issue for which they have been employed to discuss with legislators so that the public knows who is lobbying for which legislation in New Mexico
This is one of our 2017 SCORED BILLS, so we are making sure all Senators know today that we need their support!
HB 73 Public Officials as Lobbyists sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines, Rep. Joanne Ferrary and Rep. Nathan Small will be heard on Wednesday, February 8 at 1:30 in the House Judiciary Committee. The sponsors have drafted a few technical amendments that will be added to the bill prior to a committee vote so your calls to ask your legislator to support are STILL NEEDED!
This bill requires legislators to wait two years before become lobbyists in New Mexico, and it passed its first committee unanimously! Common Cause New Mexico testified that Revolving Door legislation is important for our legislature to pass so that citizen’s access to legislators doesn’t feel negated by the power of recently retired legislators who are also lobbying for issues, but treated as colleagues and thus given far more access than the average citizen.
A slew of bills will be heard in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs committee on Thursday, February 8 at 1:30 p.m.
Two of them address the primary system in New Mexico – HB 206, Unaffiliated Voters in Primary Elections, sponsored by Rep. Moe Maestas, and HJR 6, Top Two Candidates Open Primary Elections, sponsored by Rep. Stephanie Garcia-Richard and Rep. Jim Dines.
HB 206 will allow those voters who are not affiliated with any party vote in the primary of their choice, and HJR 6 will allow for a completely open primary, where the top two winners go on to the general ballot.
Also on the agenda is HB 226, Minor Party Candidate Nominating Signatures, sponsored by Rep. James Smith – this bill would reduce the number of signatures Minor Party candidates would need to get on the ballot – thus leveling the playing field for those candidates who are not with one of the two major parties.
With things moving faster and faster, we will probably do an update again this evening – if not, we will update you again tomorrow as more items are added to the agenda! Check in then for the next Democracy Wire update from the Common Cause New Mexico team!