Yesterday, Rep. Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, passed House Govt., Elections and Indian Affairs with his bill, HB27 Employment of Former PRC Employees. CCNM stood in support of this bill to protect against conflicts of interest for former employees of the PRC who may need to represent a regulated company in front of the commission, or having an unfair advantage not available to average citizens in working with the board. This bill shares many similarities with other legislation being proposed this session regarding former legislators also being required to wait 2 years prior to lobbying the legislature. This two-year waiting period is helpful in building public trust. Former legislators becoming lobbyists right after their term has ended would allow them to unfairly use their close relationships with their colleagues in lobbying their issues.
Common Cause’s Viki Harrison, Heather Ferguson and Diane Wood spent the rest of the day meeting with various legislators in the crowded halls, attending committee orientation meetings (where everyone is still in good spirits and making snarky remarks to one another before the number of bills and late nights make everyone a bit testy!) The Senate Rules Committee, chaired by Sen. Linda Lopez, was attended by the Secretary of State Dianna Duran and her Acting Elections Director, Kari Fresquez. Most of the legislation CCNM works on, as well as legislation by the Secretary of State is typically assigned to this committee. While this may be the least exciting sounding title for a committee, it is one of the most critically important committees in the state.
Common Cause New Mexico In the News:
Last week, Common Cause NM’s Viki Harrison appeared on New Mexico In Focus in a dynamic segment to discuss lobbyist disclosure issues and changes that are being proposed in legislation this year: Watch it here!