NEW MEXICO Voters Win on the Senate Floor

Posted by Heather Ferguson and Viki Harrison on March 1, 2017


Thumbnail for the Money in Politics issue bucket

SB 224, Register Voters 3 Days Before Elections, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, passed the full Senate on Wednesday, 19-11!

This bill will extend the Voter Registration Deadline by allowing registration, in real time, through the Saturday before Election Day.

Democracy works best when the highest number of people participate in the process. Low voter turnout has been a problem in New Mexico, and registering through early voting is an effective way to boost voter turnout. Our election officials currently have the technology to process voter registration forms in real time thus allowing registration through the Saturday before Election Day.

Lobby Reform for Wednesday March 1, now maybe for Friday, March 3 – with a full agenda in the Rules committee today, none of the lobby bills we were waiting for came up – so we will be back on Friday!

SB 225, Estimated Lobbyist Expense Report Filing, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, this bill adds a requirement for lobbyists’ employers to make an estimated lobbying expense report with the Secretary of State (SOS) no later than January 15th and May 1st of each year and outlines the contents of the required reports. The reports are required to also contain the actual expenses incurred by lobbyists’ employers for the previous reporting period.

SB 228, Post-Session Lobbyist Reports, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Steinborn, this bill would require each lobbyist or lobbyist employer who is required to file an expenditure report, to file a report with the Secretary of State (SOS) within one week following a legislative session. Each lobbyist or lobbyist employer would be required to disclose which legislation was advocated for or against by the lobbyist and their employer, and whether the lobbyist or lobbyist employer supported or opposed that piece of legislation.

SB 393, Lobbyist Reporting Requirements, sponsored by Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto and Rep. James Smith, this bill amends the Lobbyist Regulation Act changing the reporting threshold to require cumulative reporting of expenses incurred under $100, in addition to the existing requirement for reporting single transactions over $100. 

Thursday March 2

SB 97, Public Financing of Campaign Fixes, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, is on the agenda in the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grant & Cultural Affairs Committee at 1:30pm in Room 315.

New Mexico currently has three systems for public financing of campaigns: the Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and the NM Supreme Court. This bill fixes current statutory language that is unconstitutional following recent case rulings, it prohibits candidates who run unopposed from receiving more than 10% of the public funding available to them, and prohibits the use of campaign funds for living expenses or compensation to the candidate or candidate’s family.

Please check in for an update from the Common Cause New Mexico team tomorrow so see what other bills may be added to committee calendars on the Democracy Wire page of our website!

Follow us on Twitter @commoncausenm & like us on Facebook for mid-day updates and remember to CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS!


Office: Common Cause National, Common Cause New Mexico

Issues: Voting and Elections, Voting and Elections, Money in Politics, Money in Politics, More Democracy Reforms

Tags: Access to Voting , Registration and Voting Systems, Disclosure Laws, Disclosure, Limit On Campaign Contributions, Empowering Small Donors, Fixing Public Campaign Finance

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