Rep. Jim Dines
SANTA FE ― Last week, Rep. Jim Dines pre-filed House Joint Resolution 5 that would give New Mexico voters the option on the next ballot to create an independent ethics commission in an effort to crack down on unethical public officials and employees of the legislative and executive branches of government.
The joint resolution would call for an amendment to the New Mexico Constitution which would have to be voted on and passed by New Mexicans.
“It is important to let the people of New Mexico vote on creating an independent ethics commission to help keep our public officials and employees in check,” Dines said. The independent ethics commission proposed by Dines would be made up of nine members – Republicans, Democrats and an Independent.
“Unlike the ethics proposal set forth by House Democrats that would close the door on the public, this resolution would stand for open government and transparency,” Dines said. “All hearings and findings would be open to the public.”
The judicial branch of government has its own Judicial Standards Commission already in place.
Last session, Dines co-sponsored legislation that would have required legislators, cabinet secretaries and public regulation commissioners to go through a two year “cooling off” phase before they could become a paid lobbyist. The bill passed the House with a bipartisan vote, but was killed in the Senate.