The last two days of the 2016 Legislative Session are here!

The last two days of the 2016 Legislative Session are here!

Common Cause New Mexico continues working to pass good-government legislation.

HJR 5 to create an Independent Ethics Commission, sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque) and Rep. Jeff Steinborn (D-Las Cruces), made it over to the Senate with only 8 days left in this 30 day session.

Members of the Senate Rules committee expressed a number of concerns with several parts of the commission, and with such a short time frame, there was no time to reach a consensus and the bill was pulled by Representative Dines to be worked on further in the interim with interested parties.  

We are happy the proposal made it as far as it did in a short session – when you have a plunging budget and only 30 days, this kind of movement on ethics shows that our legislators are serious about doing this, and we fully expect to see a great ethics commission bill discussed and passed soon! 

We really appreciate all the hard work that Representative Dines and Representative Steinborn did to get it through the House and over to the Senate, and we are ready to push this forward in the interim with all legislators who have concerns so we can come up with a great bill for next year.

And while we are disappointed, we understand the deliberative nature of the legislative body. We want to ensure that we have an effective ethics commission that will be able to address both the concerns of the public as well as the legislature. This legislation should support maximum transparency for the public and also have necessary investigative and adjudicative powers, while protecting our elected officials from malicious abuses of the process.

We look forward to addressing and crafting the best solution to create an Independent Ethics Commission that works for everyone!

HB 105 Electronic Reporting Requirements sponsored by Rep. Jim Smith (R-Tijeras) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque) is on to the Senate floor for a vote tomorrow!  If it passes, it will go up to the Governor’s desk!

SB11 Campaign Reporting Requirements sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) and Rep. Jim Smith (R-Tijeras) has now passed the Senate for the FOURTH time, the third time unanimously! We are headed to the House which heard the bill in three separate committees last year, so we are hoping for a true Hail Mary with this one – real disclosure for everyone spending big in elections.

The New Mexico State Senate deserves big kudos for getting this through so quickly – we didn’t get a message from the Governor until last Thursday, and they got it through two committees and a floor vote in just four days. We hope to get the same consideration in the House, but time is certainly ticking!

We will report on other wins and losses on Thursday!