Independent Ethics Commission goes forward and Campaign Finance Disclosure scheduled for tomorrow!

Independent Ethics Commission goes forward and Campaign Finance Disclosure scheduled for tomorrow!

Common Cause New Mexico priority bill to establish Independent Ethics Commission passes first committee and Campaign Finance Reforms coming up tomorrow!

HB 115, Independent Ethics Commission, Rep. Brian Egolf – Santa Fe 

A House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs Committee Bill Substitute for HB 115 passed 11-0 with a “no recommendation” vote this morning and will move on to the House Judiciary Committee. This bill would create an independent ethics commission, which would investigate complaints of ethical violations by legislators and others who work for the state.  Heather Ferguson of Common Cause New Mexico testified in support of this bill, adding that this commission would also serve as a resource for officials to receive guidance on issues regarding potential conflicts of interest and help to restore the public’s trust in our political system.

HB 278, Campaign Finance Disclosure, Rep. James Smith – Albuquerque, is scheduled in the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee beginning at 1:30 p.m., Thursday, February 26, 2015.

This important bill, endorsed by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, requires public disclosure of information about the campaign spending of PACs and independent groups to disclose contributions and expenditures, as the candidates and political parties are already required.  It also adds definitions that are critical to improve transparency in our elections.

Don’t forget to contact your Representative and ask them to also support:

HB 241, Public Officials as Lobbyists aka, “Revolving Door” legislation, Rep. James Dines, R-Albuquerque, will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee at 1:30 p.m.

This legislation will prohibit former statewide elected officials, public regulation commissioners, state legislators and cabinet secretaries from accepting compensation as lobbyists for a period of two years after their service.  According to our most recent poll by Research & Polling, Inc., 82% of New Mexico’s voters support the requirement for a “cooling off period” for former legislators to wait after their term ends before they are able to become paid lobbyists to the legislature.