Gov. Susana Martinez hasn’t decided whether to let lawmakers consider reforming New Mexico’s campaign finance reporting system during the upcoming session.
“Governor Martinez has always been open to discussing various proposals to reform campaign finance in New Mexico,” press secretary Michael Lonergan told NMPolitics.net. “In terms of what will be on the governor’s call for the session, however, we haven’t made any final determinations. That process is ongoing over the next few months.”
In even-numbered years like 2016, the Legislature convenes for a 30-day session focused on the budget. Only the governor can add other items to the agenda. In odd-numbered years lawmakers can introduce legislation related to any topic without the governor’s approval.
Next year’s session starts Jan. 19.
The state’s campaign finance reporting system has recently been exposed to have serious flaws that many say need fixed. The most prominent example of recent problems is the criminal case against the very official who is charged with enforcing campaign finance law. That’s Secretary of State Dianna Duran, who is facing charges including fraud, embezzlement, money laundering and identity theft for allegedly using campaign funds to keep her personal bank account in the black.
Many other possible violations of campaign law have recently come to light.
NMPolitics.net reported Monday on the need for reform and ideas for improving the system. For example, Martinez has called for more frequent campaign reporting and requiring the secretary of state to post its audits of candidates’ finance reports online for the public to see.