New Mexico transparency legislation
Transparency legislation proposed in New Mexico.
- Senate Memorial 45 (2008), sponsored by Senator Mark Boitano (R), requests that the Legislative Council Service "ensure[s] that the proceedings of the senate will be streamed on the internet beginning in 2009." The Senate appropriated $75,000 in 2005 for the purchase of equipment that would enable this, $30,000 of which has already been spent (cameras were purchased), but live video feed of the Senate still wasn't aired during 2009's regular session. However, Representative Janice Arnold-Jones (R) used her own resources to broadcast video of the House Taxation and Revenue Committee and the House Voters and Election Committee. Audio feed was available from the Senate.
- House Memorial 62, sponsored by Representative Thomas A. Anderson (R), requests that the roll-call votes of the House of Representatives be made available on the House website immediately following the vote. This Memorial was postponed indefinitely in the House Judiciary Committee.
- House Bill 103, sponsored by Representative Bill O'Neill (D), would exempt personal identifying information (such as social security numbers), building plans, and security system specifications from public inspection. Concerns over the bill have been expressed by those who perform background checks, saying that the bill "would be an insurmountable set-back" for screening job applicants. The bill was postponed indefinitely by the House Business and Industry Committee.
- House Bill 130, sponsored by Representative Mimi Stewart (D), would require the Human Services Department to post on its website, as well as in a monthly publication, totals of approved and denied applicants for medicaid and state children's health insurance, and "the number of recipients that the department disenrolled and reinstated within six months." The data would be used to "analyz[e] the effectiveness of medicaid and state children's health insurance program case enrollment and retention policies." The bill passed unanimously through both the House and the Senate, but was killed with a pocket veto by Gov. Bill Richardson.
- House Bill 200, sponsored by Representative Roberto J. Gonzalez (D), would exempt "proprietary technical or business information" obtained by the Spaceport Authority from public inspection. The bill was postponed indefinitely by the House Judiciary Committee.
- House Bill 237, sponsored by Representative Andrew Barreras (D), sought to change how public school accountability reports are generated and issued. The bill was passed by the House (67-0) and, on March 15, 2009, was also passed by the Senate (31-1). It was subsequently vetoed by Governor Bill Richardson on March 25, 2009.
- House Bill 253, sponsored by Representative Al Park (D), would require candidates for county or state office and public officials to submit reports of contributions and expenditures for political campaigns to the Secretary of State more frequently than the law currently requires. In non-election years, candidates and officials would have to submit reports quarterly instead of annually. In election years, they would have to submit monthly instead of biannually. The campaign reports are used to ensure that a candidate's campaign financing is legal, and to provide a trace for public inspection between candidates and their monetary supporters. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Voters and Elections Committee.
- House Bill 272, sponsored by Representative Gail Chasey (D), is similar in intent to the proposed House Bill 253, seeking to require candidates for political office to submit reports of campaign contributions and expenditures more frequently than the law currently requires. The bill was assigned for consideration to the House Voters and Elections Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. The House Voters and Elections Committee proposed a substitute of Rep. Chasey's bill, reducing the number of reports required in Chasey's bill from quarterly, in non-election years, to biannually. Other than increase the frequency of campaign contribution reporting, this bill would eliminate a provision that exempts candidates who do not "intend" to raise or spend minimum amounts of money from filing reports. This bill was postponed indefinitely in the House Judiciary Committee.
- House Bill 393, sponsored by Representative Joseph Cervantes (D), requires that all standing and conference committee meetings be open to the public, and that the public be given "reasonable notice" when any such meeting is scheduled. It allows members of the public to attend legislative meetings intended to channel proposed legislation to the chamber floors (standing committees), as well as meetings intended to relieve legislative discrepancies between the houses (conference committees). This bill was passed by the House (66-0) and by the Senate (33-8), and was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson on April 6, 2009.
- House Bill 507, sponsored by Representative Ken Martinez (D), seeks to allow public records requests to be made via fax or e-mail so as to shorten the time in which a response must be made, require record custodian supervisors to approve decisions regarding exemptions, and to provide written explanations of exemptions. After the House Health & Government Affairs Committee added many exceptions and presented its substitute bill, Rep. Martinez said he could no longer support it. The bill was postponed indefinitely by the House Judiciary Committee.
- House Bill 534, sponsored by Representative Eleanor Chavez (D), sought to allow public records requests to be made electronically. It was passed by the House (64-0) and, on March 20, 2009, was also passed by the Senate (33-0). However, Governor Bill Richardson terminated the bill with a pocket veto.
- House Bill 546, introduced by Representative Al Park (D), calls for the creation a searchable online database of all state contracts "beginning on or after January 1, 2010 and having a value of more than twenty thousand dollars." This bill was passed by the House (65-0) and by the Senate (39-0), and was subsequently signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson on April 6, 2009. It will be effective January 1, 2010.
- House Bill 598, introduced by Representative Joseph Cervantes (D) on February 4, 2009, "allow[s] electronic requests pursuant to the Inspection of Public Records Act." The bill specifies that e-mail or facsimile requests will satisfy the "written request" required for the inspection of public records. It was passed by the House (64-0) and by the Senate (32-5), and was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson on April 3, 2009.
- House Bill 652, introduced by Representative W. Ken Martinez (D) on February 6, 2009, makes audits of state agencies available to the public sooner. The length of time between the state auditor sending a completed audit to the agency and the audit becoming a public record has been reduced, by this bill, from 10 days to five days. Publicly available audits must include a written section detailing "any violation of law or good accounting practices." This bill passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate and was signed into law by Gov. Bill Richardson on April 7, 2009.
- House Bill 866, introduced by Representative Antonio "Moe" Maestas (D) on February 19, 2009, seeks to remove public access to the criminal records of convicted felons after a certain amount of time has passed from the completion of their sentence. The bill was postponed indefinitely by the House Judiciary Committee. A similar bill was vetoed by the Governor due to "technical flaws" in 2007.
- Text of SM 45
- Roundhouse resists entering 21st century, New Mexico Independent, January 22, 2009
- Text of HM 62
- Status of HM 62
- Text of HB 103
- New Mexico House Bill 103 Threatens Employment Background Checks, Employee Screen IQ, February 9, 2009
- Status of HB 103
- Text of HB 130
- Status of HB 130
- Text of HB 200
- Status of HB 200
- Text of HB 237
- Status of HB 237
- Governor Bill Richardson's final bill action, Las Cruces Sun-News, April 10, 2009
- Text of HB 253
- Status of HB 253
- Text of HB 272
- HVEC substitute of HB 272
- Status of HB 272
- Text of HB 393
- Status of HB 393
- Text of HB 507
- Legislative roundup for Feb. 26, Santa Fe New Mexican, February 26, 2009
- Status of HB 507
- Text of HB 534
- Status of HB 534
- Text of HB 546
- Status of HB 546
- Text of HB 598
- Status of HB 598
- Text of HB 652
- Status of HB 652
- Text of HB 866
- Status of HB 866
- Bill limits access to criminal records, KRQE, February 25, 2009
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