HJR8 - Creation of an Independent Ethics Commission has its first hearing in the House State Government, Indian and Veterans Affairs Committee set for tomorrow morning, Thursday Jan. 26th, at 8:30 a.m. in Room 309 (this is an updated room number).
New Mexico is still one of only eight states without an ethics commission.
According to a January 2017 poll conducted by Research & Polling, Inc., eighty-nine percent (89%) of New Mexicans are now asking our legislature to take immediate action and create an Independent Ethics Commission.
Constitutional Amendment HJR 8 will:
- Create a 7-member commission
- Complaints submitted to the commission must be signed and not anonymous
- The complaint and response will remain confidential until the respondent’s response is filed in the matter, or due to be filed
- Provide education, guidance and training for public officials
- Allow for consistent interpretation of laws and standards
- Increase public confidence in the integrity of New Mexico government
- Increase economic development for business opportunity looking to build in New Mexico
- After clear and convincing evidence is presented to the commission in a public hearing, the complaints may be adjudicated and sanctions imposed and/or the case may be referred to the appropriate prosecutorial authority
- Will work in concert with the courts and other state agencies
Now is the time that New Mexico creates a carefully considered independent ethics commission to rebuild and the broken trust that currently exists between New Mexico’s public and our officials.
Please call and email your legislator’s office to voice your support for this important legislation NOW!
Also being heard tomorrow morning is Common Cause New Mexico’s Priority Bill HB73, “Public Officials as Lobbyists,” co-sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines and Rep. Joanne Ferrary. The “revolving door” bill requires a two-year wait time before former legislators would be permitted to lobby at the State Capitol.