Santa Fe, NM – Today, Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales) introduced House Bill 4, which establishes in law a New Mexico Ethics Commission, a measure approved by 75% of voters as a constitutional amendment in last November’s election.
House Bill 4 will create an independent state agency with seven commissioners who will have jurisdiction to enforce compliance with a number of state laws covering campaigns, governmental conduct, lobbyists, gifts and financial disclosure by state officers, employees, candidates, lobbyists, government contractors and bidders.
“This is an important step forward in transparency, accountability, and integrity for New Mexico. A state ethics commission will give New Mexicans a place to go if they have a complaint against a state official, while creating a system that is fair and reliable,” said Representative Daymon Ely (D-Corrales). “It will also be a place for state officials to go to get advice on often murky ethics requirements. This has been an issue that the House worked on extensively in 2017 when we crafted the constitutional amendment on the ballot last year.”
“Rep. Ely’s proposed ethics commission fulfills a promise to New Mexico voters who overwhelmingly voted for it last November,” said Heather Ferguson, Executive Director of Common Cause New Mexico, which has been working on this issue for over three decades. “It will not solve every problem but it will go a long way to ensure accountability and restore the public’s trust in state government.”
House Bill 4 grows out of the work of an interim task force, which included staff members from Common Cause New Mexico, NM First, the Association of Commerce and Industry, NM Ethics Watch, the League of Women Voters and legislators. The task force met throughout the summer and fall of 2018 to build a blueprint for enabling legislation based on the constitutional amendment.