Another year, another chance for the New Mexico House of Representatives to act on what good government groups say would be a big step for ethics reform.
The House Judiciary Committee gave its unanimous support Monday to a proposal for establishing an independent ethics commission, sending the measure to a vote by the full House. And Speaker Brian Egolf, D-Santa Fe, said Monday he wants to get the bill to the Senate quickly.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Dines, R-Albuquerque, House Joint Resolution 8 would ask voters to change the New Mexico Constitution to create a bipartisan board with seven members who will investigate complaints of misconduct involving public officials across state government. The commission would also act as the state’s campaign finance watchdog and police lobbyists.
Campaign finance reform advocates have long pushed to establish such a commission, which would take responsibility for various facets of ethics oversight from various elected officials and place it under a single board.
But even after recent scandals in state government, lawmakers have shot down proposals like House Joint Resolution 8.
More than 30 pieces of legislation calling for an ethics commission have been introduced since 2007. And at least two have passed the House, only to die in the Senate.
This article comes from The Santa Fe New Mexican. NMPolitics.net is paying for the rights to publish articles about the 2017 legislative session from the newspaper. Help us cover the cost by making a donation to NMPolitics.net.