TWO More CCNM Priority Bills Clear Their First Committees!

TWO CCNM priority bills passed their first Senate committees yesterday.

TWO More CCNM Priority Bills Clear Their First Committees!

SB 3, Campaign Finance Reporting, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, PASSED Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 7-4! Next up, this bill will be scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What does this bill do?

Our proposed update to the Campaign Finance Reporting Act, (Disclosure), has passed the Senate FIVE times (the last three unanimously), as well as all House committees in prior years. This bill will overhaul the current law to bring it in line with both recent court rulings and modern campaign practices by:

  • Requiring public disclosure of information about the campaign spending of PACs and other non-candidate campaign participants without crossing constitutional boundaries established by the courts
  • Requiring independent groups to disclose contributions and expenditures

SB 4, Campaign Public Financing Changes, sponsored by Sen. Peter Wirth, PASSED Senate Rules Committee by a vote of 10-1! Next, this bill will be scheduled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

What does this bill do?

Fix New Mexico’s existing system of public campaign financing. New Mexico currently has three systems for public financing of campaigns: Public Regulation Commission, Court of Appeals and the NM Supreme Court. On June 27, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of public campaign financing in the Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett decision.

The ruling, however, struck down one mechanism used in some public financing programs, including New Mexico’s Voter Action Act. While the current bill does not address what was struck down as far as matching funds, it does prohibit candidates who run unopposed from receiving more than 10% of the public funding available to them and allow qualified candidates to collect up to $100 individual contributions to help keep up with the increasing costs of running campaigns, without an additional boost of public financing funds.

This measure protects the integrity of our public financing program against large campaign contributions that could water-down the intent of using public financing – to give candidates the ability to run for office without spending their time collecting high-dollar donations from large donors, and instead, engage more with their constituents.

Read more from the Albuquerque Journal on these bills here.

Coming up this week:

HOUSE CONSUMER & PUBLIC AFFAIRS COMMITTEE: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – 1:30 P.M. – Room 317

HOUSE STATE GOVERNMENT, ELECTIONS & INDIAN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE:  Wednesday, January 30, 2019 – 8:30 A.M. – Room 305

Look out for updates regarding the enabling legislation for the new Independent Ethics Commission which should be filed at the beginning of next week!

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook for updates and call your legislators!