Several Ethics Bills Introduced in New Mexico - State and Federal Communications

January 17, 2017  •  

Several Ethics Bills Introduced in New Mexico

New Mexico State CapitolNew Mexico lawmakers have recently introduced several ethics bills.

House Bill 119 would make it unlawful for a state legislator or legislative candidate to solicit or accept a contribution, even absent any political purpose.

House Bill 73 seeks to create a two-year revolving door provision prohibiting former statewide elected officials, public regulation commissioners, legislators, and cabinet secretaries from accepting compensation as lobbyists for a period of two years after terminating their service. The bill would also prohibit a lobbyist employer from compensating any of the aforementioned persons during the two-year period.

State Sen. Daniel A. Ivey-Soto introduced Senate Bill 72, also known as the Public Accountability Act (PAA). If passed, the PAA would create the Public Accountability Board (PAB) with enforcement powers over the compliance provisions of various public acts including, but not limited to, those related to campaign finance reporting, lobbying, public accountability, ethics, and procurement.

The PAB would serve as an adjunct agency with the secretary of state, members of the board of commissioners of the state bar, the governor, and the chief justice of the supreme court each appointing three members, respectively. Among its provisions, the act amends the definition of lobbyist and prohibits lobbyists and government contractors from serving on the PAB. If passed, several of the sections would be effective as soon as July 1, 2017, while the PAB would not gain enforcement powers over many of the listed acts until July 1, 2019.

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