“Revolving Door” Begins to Close

“Revolving Door” Begins to Close

Common Cause New Mexico priority legislation to require a two-year waiting period before legislators become lobbyists passes committee unanimously

Today was a busy day for Common Cause NM as we worked on several pieces of key legislation. First, the great news! HB 241 Public Officials as Lobbyists aka, “Revolving Door” legislation, sponsored by Rep. James Dines, R-Albuquerque, passed its first committee unanimously. 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.  Congratulations to Rep. Dines for his excellent presentation to the committee – he was fantastic as he told committee members how he consistently heard from voters in his district while campaigning that they wanted to see a “cooling off period” for legislators before they became lobbyists. This sentiment is reflected in our new CCNM poll that shows 82% of New Mexico’s voters who support this “cooling off period” for former legislators before they can become paid lobbyists at the Roundhouse.

We have a busy week ahead on other priority bills for Common Cause, please contact your Representative and ask them to support the bills listed below!

If you do not know the name of your Representative, please look them up here!

CCNM Priority bill HB 278 Campaign Finance Disclosure, Rep. James Smith – Albuquerque, will be heard this Thursday in the House Safety and Civil Affairs Committee beginning at 1:30 p.m. This important bill 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.

HB 151, Primary Voting for some 17 year olds, Rep. Jeff Steinborn – Las Cruces, will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m. This bill passed the first committee 11-0 and will allow those 17 year olds who will be 18 by the general election to vote in the primary election.

HB 115, Independent Ethics Commission, Rep. Brian Egolf – Santa Fe, will be heard in the House Government, Elections and Indian Affairs on Wednesday morning beginning at 8:30 a.m. This bill would create an independent ethics commission which would investigate complaints of ethical violations by legislators and others who work for the State as well as serving as a resource for officials to receive guidance on issues.

HB 205, Public Campaign Financing, Rep. Miguel Garcia – Albuquerque, will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday afternoon beginning at 1:30 p.m.  This bill, which passed the first committee 7-2 and mirrors SB 58, Sen. Peter Wirth – Santa Fe, also expands the State’s public campaign financing program to include the State Legislature.