Transparency; Ethics Bills Clear House Committee

SANTA FE   The House State Government, Indian and Veterans’ Affairs Committee (HSIVC) passed two bills Jan. 26 aimed at creating a more open and ethical government.
House Bill 73, the “Revolving Door” bill, and House Joint Resolution 8, creating an Independent Ethics Commission both passed committee with strong bipartisan support bringing a more transparent state government one step closer to reality.
“To best serve the people of our state, eliminating any incentive for state employees to turn a profit at the expense of New Mexicans is a powerful action we can make as legislators to put the people first,” Rep. Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces) said. “These bills will put an end to the revolving door and help restore the public’s trust in their elected officials.”
“I am proud that the creation of an Independent Ethics Commission and closing the revolving door received bipartisan passage in their House committee today,” Rep. Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) said. “We are working to bounce back in the best, bi-partisan way; with ethics and good legislation to create a strong foundation for facing common challenges.”
If enacted, HB 73 would place restrictions on all former statewide elected officials, PRC commissioners, former state legislators and former cabinet secretaries from becoming paid lobbyists for two years after leaving office. HJR 8 proposes a constitutional amendment that would create an Independent Ethics Commission tasked with investigating and issuing advisory opinions regarding any violations of laws or misconduct by any elected statewide officials.
HB 73, sponsored by Representatives Joanne Ferrary (D-Las Cruces), Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces) and Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque) will next be heard in the House Judiciary Committee. HJR 8, sponsored by Representatives Nathan Small (D-Las Cruces), Bill McCamley (D-Las Cruces) and Jim Dines (R-Albuquerque) will move on to the House Local Government, Elections, Land Grants and Cultural Affairs Committee. 
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