March 20, 2020 •

New Mexico Governor Likely to Call Special Session

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated she is likely to call legislators to a special session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If called, the session would focus on revising a recently signed state budget, addressing public health needs, […]

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham indicated she is likely to call legislators to a special session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

If called, the session would focus on revising a recently signed state budget, addressing public health needs, and providing economic relief.

In a letter to legislators, Gov. Grisham said emergency federal aid needs to be established before state budget revisions can take place.

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February 24, 2020 •

New Mexico Legislature Adjourns, Passes Budget Bill

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

The Second Session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on February 20 at noon after 30 days in session. During the session, legislators endorsed a $7.6 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. […]

The Second Session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on February 20 at noon after 30 days in session.

During the session, legislators endorsed a $7.6 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The budget raises annual spending by $536 million, setting aside $17 million toward an initiative that may eventually provide tuition-free education at public colleges.

The budget bill also places $320 million in an endowment fund designed to underwrite early childhood education programs with future investments earnings.

Lawmakers also introduced but did not pass Senate Bill 53, which would have required a lobbyist or lobbyist’s employer to file reports within 14 days following the conclusion of a legislative session.

Senate Bill 53 would have required the post-session report to indicate legislation lobbied and the position taken on each piece of legislation.

Opening day of the 2021 legislative session is scheduled for January 19.

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February 11, 2020 •

New Mexico Representative Resigns from House District 40

Rep. Joseph Sanchez is resigning from his House District 40 seat to run for election to the 3rd Congressional District. Sanchez previously defeated Tweeti Blancett in the general election for the seat on November 6, 2018. The race for the […]

Rep. Joseph Sanchez is resigning from his House District 40 seat to run for election to the 3rd Congressional District.

Sanchez previously defeated Tweeti Blancett in the general election for the seat on November 6, 2018.

The race for the House District 40 seat now has two contestants: Roger Montoya and Justin Salazar-Torrez.

The election will take place on June 2.

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January 31, 2020 •

Santa Fe Campaign Disclosure Ordinance Ruled Constitutional

A federal judge in New Mexico ruled on January 30 that a Santa Fe ordinance requiring disclosure of campaign spending more than $250 on a ballot proposition is constitutional. Santa Fe Campaign Code 9-2.6, passed in 2015, states that a […]

A federal judge in New Mexico ruled on January 30 that a Santa Fe ordinance requiring disclosure of campaign spending more than $250 on a ballot proposition is constitutional.

Santa Fe Campaign Code 9-2.6, passed in 2015, states that a person or entity spending $250 or more in support or defeat of a ballot proposition must disclose all expenditures made and contributions received with the city clerk.

Senior U.S. District Court judge Judith C. Herrera’s ruling stems from a 2017 lawsuit brought by nonprofit Rio Grande Foundation.

The suit claimed that disallowing anonymous donations to the foundation was an infringement on free speech.

While the foundation argued that anonymity protects donors from potential harassment from those who disagree with the issues being advocated, the judge found that the disclosure requirements of the ordinance serve substantial governmental interests.

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January 21, 2020 •

New Mexico Senator Sponsors Post-Session Lobbying Bill

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

In an effort to increase transparency, Sen. Jeff Steinborn is sponsoring a bill that would require post-session lobbying reports. Under Senate Bill 53, lobbyists or their employers would have to file an expenditure report within 14 days after each legislative […]

In an effort to increase transparency, Sen. Jeff Steinborn is sponsoring a bill that would require post-session lobbying reports.

Under Senate Bill 53, lobbyists or their employers would have to file an expenditure report within 14 days after each legislative session listing the legislation they supported or opposed.

The 2020 session of the 54th Legislature is scheduled to begin on January 21 and adjourn on February 20.

If Steinborn’s bill passes, it will become effective on May 20.

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January 15, 2020 •

New Mexico Ethics Commission Begins Work for 2020

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

New Mexico’s new Ethics Commission opened its doors January 2 to complaints regarding campaign finance, government contracting, gifts from lobbyists, and more. Voters approved the creation of the Ethics Commission in a November 2018 referendum. The new Ethics Commission has […]

New Mexico’s new Ethics Commission opened its doors January 2 to complaints regarding campaign finance, government contracting, gifts from lobbyists, and more.

Voters approved the creation of the Ethics Commission in a November 2018 referendum.

The new Ethics Commission has the power to enforce the civil provisions of several governmental conduct and disclosure laws by imposing civil penalties and recommending disciplinary action, including impeachment.

Jeremy D. Farris is the first state Ethics Commission executive director.

Farris previously served as general counsel to New Mexico’s Department of Finance and Administration.

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January 14, 2020 •

New Mexico District 42 Rep. Sworn In

Taos Mayor Dan Barrone takes his oath of office for his new position as District 42 State Representative - Morgan Timms/Taos News

Mayor Dan Barrone took his official oath of office on January 4 for the District 42 seat in the New Mexico Legislature. After applying first for the District 6 Senate position, Barrone decided to put his name in the hat […]

Mayor Dan Barrone took his official oath of office on January 4 for the District 42 seat in the New Mexico Legislature.

After applying first for the District 6 Senate position, Barrone decided to put his name in the hat for representative after Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales vacated his seat to serve in the state Senate.

He will serve his term in the Legislature while still acting as the mayor for the town of Taos.

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January 7, 2020 •

New Mexico State Ethics Commission Opens

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

The New Mexico state ethics commission opened on January 2. The commission was created by a constitutional amendment passed in November 2018. The seven member-structure was specified in a bill signed last March by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. Former Judge […]

The New Mexico state ethics commission opened on January 2.

The commission was created by a constitutional amendment passed in November 2018.

The seven member-structure was specified in a bill signed last March by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

Former Judge William F. Lang was appointed by Lujan Grisham to be the commission’s first chairman.

The commission will issue advisory opinions regarding campaign finance, government contracts, and lobbying disclosure law and will investigate complaints of potential violations.

The alleged offense must have occurred after June of 2019, and all accusations will be confidential until the commission decides to hold a public hearing.

The commission has the authority to impose civil penalties and can recommend disciplinary action, including impeachment.

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April 5, 2019 •

NM Gov. Signs Bill Amending Several Provisions of Campaign Finance Law

Senate Bill 3, relating to the Campaign Reporting Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, April 4, 2019. The bill amends several provisions of campaign finance law, including definitions related to elections cycles, penalties for violating campaign […]

Senate Bill 3, relating to the Campaign Reporting Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, April 4, 2019.

The bill amends several provisions of campaign finance law, including definitions related to elections cycles, penalties for violating campaign finance law, and independent expenditure reporting.

The bill also requires a person making an independent expenditure in an amount exceeding $1,000 in non-statewide elections and $3,000 in statewide elections to file a report with the secretary of state within specified time periods.

The report must include the name and address of the person who made the independent expenditure, the name and address of the person to whom the independent expenditure was made, the amount, date and purposes of the independent expenditure, and the source of the contributions used to make the independent contribution.

Additionally, contributions to most candidates and political committees will be limited to $5,000 per election cycle unless those contributions are from a candidate’s own personal funds or made to a political committee and used only to make independent expenditures.

Contributions to gubernatorial candidates will be limited to two times the contribution limit during a primary or a general election cycle.

The bill will become effective on July 1, 2019.

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March 29, 2019 •

New Mexico Independent Ethics Commission Bill Signed by Governor

Senate Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, March 28, 2019. The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election. The new […]

Senate Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Thursday, March 28, 2019.

The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election.

The new commission will oversee state public officials and employees and give the commission investigative powers over ethics violations.

Sections one through eight and 34 of the bill, relating to the creation of the new commission, will become effective July 1, 2019.

The remaining sections, mostly relating to the commission’s investigative powers, will become effective on January 1, 2020.

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March 18, 2019 •

New Mexico Adjourns Sine Die; Passes Ethics Commission Bill

The New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on March 16, 2019. House Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was passed by the Legislature on the final day of the session. The bill creates the new independent ethics […]

The New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on March 16, 2019.

House Bill 668, relating to the State Ethics Commission Act, was passed by the Legislature on the final day of the session.

The bill creates the new independent ethics commission demanded by voters in the November 2018 election.

The new commission will oversee state public officials and employees and give the commission investigative powers over ethics violations.

The bill is awaiting the governor’s signature. If signed, sections one through eight and 34 of the bill will become effective July 1, 2019.

The remaining sections will become effective on January 1, 2020.

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February 25, 2019 •

NM House Introduces Bill Requiring Lobbyists to Participate in Sexual Harassment Training

New Mexico State Reps. Joy Garratt and Elizabeth Thomson introduced House Bill 551 earlier this month. If passed, the bill would require lobbyists to participate in a sexual harassment training lasting at least four hours. The program must be sponsored […]

New Mexico State Reps. Joy Garratt and Elizabeth Thomson introduced House Bill 551 earlier this month.

If passed, the bill would require lobbyists to participate in a sexual harassment training lasting at least four hours.

The program must be sponsored by the secretary of state, an employer of the lobbyist and conducted by a person qualified to conduct the training, or by a certified human resources professional.

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February 14, 2019 •

NM Bill Setting Out New Ethics Commission’s Duties Introduced

In November, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment to Article 5 of the state’s constitution. Constitutional Amendment 2 creates an independent ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning civil violations of laws governing ethics, […]

In November, New Mexico voters approved a constitutional amendment to Article 5 of the state’s constitution.

Constitutional Amendment 2 creates an independent ethics commission with jurisdiction to investigate, adjudicate and issue advisory opinions concerning civil violations of laws governing ethics, standards of conduct and reporting requirements.

In order to be a functional commission, the Legislature must pass laws granting the commission all of its powers and duties.

As a result, state Rep. Daymon Ely introduced House Bill 4 setting out the new agency’s responsibilities.

The bill states the commission will have jurisdiction to investigate and adjudicate a complaint alleging a civil violation of the Lobbyist Regulation Act and the Campaign Reporting Act.

Additionally, the commission would have the authority to suspend a person from consideration for award of a contract if the person violates the Procurement Code.

If passed, sections 1 through 5, 7, and 37 of the bill will be effective July 1, 2019. The remaining sections will be effective January 1, 2020.

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February 4, 2019 •

New Mexico Governor Signs Bill Amending Lobbyist Disclosure

Senate Bill 191 was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on February 4, 2019. The bill requires the disclosure of the cumulative total of all individual expenditures of less than $100 made or incurred by the employer or lobbyist during […]

Senate Bill 191 was signed by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on February 4, 2019.

The bill requires the disclosure of the cumulative total of all individual expenditures of less than $100 made or incurred by the employer or lobbyist during the covered reporting period.

The expenditures must be separated into meals and beverages, other entertainment expenditures, and other expenditures.

The bill is effective July 1, 2019.

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